I wrote and delivered this paper for the June 2005 Conference held in Brisbane.
PAPER FOR SUBMISSION 2005 8th INTERNATIONAL MINE VENTILATION CONGRESS STATUTORY COMPLIANCE OF SEALING PLANS AND INFORMATION REQUIRED BY QUEENSLAND INDUSTRY REGULATORS
It is 14 pages in all
I have included a few excerpts.
Another potential problem is the belief that “we are too smart to let that happen again”.
One of the thought processes that people have is that because of the greater prevalence and sophistication of monitoring equipment we have now compared to when the last disaster occurred, we could not possibly have a situation where we have an explosion in a goaf.
The same thought process get applied in strata management.
One of the sayings in the industry relating to strata management is
“We monitored the roof. We monitored it all the way to the floor”
Unfortunately just because the information is being collected does not automatically mean that it generates remedial action.
History has shown that in the vast majority of cases that the information was available to suggest an out of control situation was developing and
for whatever reason, this information was not acted upon.
One of the great challenges facing the industry is the training and retention of suitable competent individuals to fill crucial statutory and other management positions at the mines.
There is no doubt that the academic educational standards, at all levels of entry to the industry, have increased markedly in the last 30 years.
There is probably little doubt that their academic mining knowledge level is also higher.
However as with all industries there is a need for practical workplace training to apply the textbook knowledge to gain the mining skills and competencies required to adequately fulfil the requirements of the positions.
Going hand in hand with this is the requirement that the people filling these roles are in a senior enough position in the mine management structure and have sufficient resources, expertise and personality to be able to resist the inevitable pressure to provide minimal impediments to production occurring 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The purpose of this paper is to outline the information that the regulators look for in sealing plans and the actions the regulators will take if the sealing does not go to plan (TARP’s being exceeded).
Additionally the paper will outline the background information the regulators seek in regard both to sealing plans and dealing with unwanted events in relation to the PHMP’s and emergencies at the mine of which ventilation is an element.
This paper will be a practical guide to working ventilation officers and consultants about the background information they will be required to be able to provide for the regulators and to show that they have complied with their obligations under the Queensland 1999 Coal Mining Act and 2001 Regulations.
The vast majority of multiple fatalities and coal mining disasters that have occurred both in Queensland and around the world have been a direct result of mine fires and explosions.
Invariably they are a result of an unwanted and or out of control event occurring in the mine.
History has shown that these events are the result of
- Best practise preventative and remedial action not being enacted.
- Critical information not being noticed and/or collected.
- Warning signs and information being ignored.
- Normal mining activities being allowed to continue despite the likelihood of an unwanted out of control event occurring.
- Mineworkers being killed immediately in the disaster or dying due to their inability to escape from the mine in the aftermath of the disaster.