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How high reliability organisation practices are being applied in the Queensland mining industry

14 March 2022

The Queensland Resources Council has published a new report which examines the prevalence of safety and health practices similar to those used by high reliability organisations (HROs) in the Queensland mining industry.

HROs are those organisations that consistently avoid serious failures despite operating in environments characterised by high levels of inherent risk and/or operational complexity.

The High reliability organisations benchmarking summary report, which was commissioned by the Queensland Resources Council—with support from the Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health—found the industry uses a range of practices similar to those used by organisations who are often cited as being HROs.

Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health Kate du Preez said examples ranged from the incident and hazard reporting systems, to the risk management arrangements including the critical control approach.

“These arrangements were underpinned by safety, training, maintenance and other management systems,” Kate said.

“However, the report found there are further opportunities to expand on these practices to further improve safety and health performance.

“It is encouraging to see that many organisations in the Queensland resources industry have adopted or were already using HRO practices in their day-to-day operations,” she said.

“The report outlines a number of practical steps which can be taken by Queensland resources industry organisations to move towards becoming more like HROs.”

Kate said the move towards adopting HRO principles in the resources industry was a key recommendation from the Review of all fatal accidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019 by Dr Sean Brady which was tabled in the Queensland Parliament in February 2020.

“Dr Brady’s report has served as a catalyst for change in the resources industry and has generated the necessary conversations about how the regulator, unions and employers can work together to write the story about what the mining industry can be in the future,” she said.

The Queensland Resources Council held a special presentation on HRO practises in the resources sector recently to explore the results of the benchmarking report.

Last updated: 14 Mar 2022