Coal Inspectorate | Bulletin | No.196 V 1 | 05 August 2021
This Safety Bulletin summarises a review of the reports compiled by Coal Mines following the Level Two Exercise in 2020. It highlights the requirements to conduct the annual exercise and the learnings for industry identified during the exercise. Site Senior Executives (SSEs) should review their emergency preparedness process against learnings contained in this notice.
The requirement for annual level two mine emergency exercises are prescribed in the Recognised Standard 08 - Conduct of mine emergency exercises and in section 35 Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017.
Exercises Conducted in 2020
All underground mines conducted an exercise and submitted a report for 2020. There was one opencut mine that did not conduct an exercise and submit a report for 2020.
The review identified the following exercise plan learnings.
1. Organising emergency exercises
Recognised Standard 08 places the obligation of convening the organisational committee onto the SSE. While it does not prescribe, it does suggest the involvement of the Site Safety and Health Representative (SSHR) and a member of the Queensland Mines Rescue Service (QMRS). Most exercises were organised by Senior Management who would, in turn, be part of the Incident Management Team (IMT) being tested.
Learning - The organising committee should be made up of personnel outside of the Senior Management Team and Emergency Response Team (ERT) Members. This will ensure the effectiveness of the IMT is tested. The SSHR and QMRS should be involved in the exercise.
2. Exercise duration
The average time allocated for conducting an exercise was approximately 90 minutes. While this may test the responders it would appear to be difficult to test the effectiveness of the IMT. Underground mines tended to allocate a longer time period.
Learning - The time allocated for the exercise must be sufficient to test all identified aspects of the emergency preparedness procedure which includes the IMT.
3. Time of day exercise was conducted
Exercises conducted were held during the week and on dayshift.
Learning - It is beneficial to conduct exercises on a back shift and/or on the weekend. This would test the IMT capability when the majority of senior management would be off-site.
Mines have varied scenarios each year however the complexity of the scenarios was limited and hence did not test all aspects of the emergency preparedness procedure.
Learning - Scenarios should reflect a failure of a Principal Hazard Control and be of a complexity that tests large parts of the emergency preparedness procedure.
5. Exercise reports
The standard of reports submitted in 2020 has improved significantly from previous years.
Learning - There is an ongoing requirement for action plans to address corrective actions to be included.
Common industry operational safety learnings
References and further information
Contact: Graham Callinan, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4936 0119 QldMinesInspectorate@rshq.qld.gov.au
Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland
All information on this page (Learnings from conducting Level Two Emergency Exercises in Queensland Coal Mines - https://www.rshq.qld.gov.au/safety-notices/mines/learnings-from-conducting-level-two-emergency-exercises-in-queensland-coal-mines) is correct as of time of printing (26 Sep 2021 5:34 pm).