Everyone gets out alive

WHEN times are going well and tonnage targets are being met, everything is right with the world. What Hogsback has found though is when a worker loses his life in a workplace accident things change very dramatically.
Everyone gets out alive Everyone gets out alive Everyone gets out alive Everyone gets out alive Everyone gets out alive
The recent tragic death of bulldozer operator Allan Houston, 49, on New Year's Eve at the Saraji mine in Queensland, has cast a pall across the entire BHP Mitsubishi Alliance workforce. 
Here was a competent, experienced, and highly-respected operator who became a victim of a workplace incident in a moment.
Unions are questioning the BMA safety culture and whether enough is being done to prevent similar incidents in the future.
For its part, the Queensland Mines Inspectorate is taking the fatality very seriously.
This week it announced it was undertaking a formal investigation into how Houston lost his life in the incident.   
The bulldozer was traversing - with the blade not in contact with the ground -a bench in an area where three bulldozers were pushing overburden material.
"The bulldozer operated by the deceased, for a reason yet to be determined, went over the bench's crest and rolled downwards approximately 20m," the inspectorate said. 
"The bulldozer came to rest on its roof in an area of mud and water approximately 2m deep."
The Queensland industry is seeking to use innovation and cultural change to make inroads into safety with only some degree of success. The investigation into this fatality may be its litmus test.
For its part, the New South Wales Regulator has changed its strategic approach for the period up to 2020.
NSW's safety record definitely needs improvement.        
Over 2015 and 2016 more than 2000 safety incidents were reported to the NSW Resources Regulator with 64 serious injuries recorded. 
There were also more than 670 allegations of mining related non-compliance events considered by the regulator. 
Of particular concern were the fatalities recorded as a result of workplace incidents.
While NSW has a strong regulatory framework the state is seeking to focus on business improvement and creating a unified and integrated regulatory approach.
It believes it can do this by leveraging strong industry engagement and partnerships. 
The end goal will be to enable and support industry to understand and fulfil its obligations.
Hogsback hopes that these measures will have success at the mine site as the loss of a life is too high a price for cutting corners and questionable work practices.