Risk Management Report Essay Example

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10Risk Management Report

Risk Management Report

Executive Summary

Mining industry is a key sector in the Australian economy. However the increasing number of injuries and incidents risks is a wakeup call to all stakeholders to undertake the necessary steps so as to deal with this issue. The mining industry is one of the key industries that is regarded a primary sector that has a key contribution to the Australian economy. A risk analysis was undertaken on the coal, ore and mineral mining industry in Western Australia. The report highlight the necessary performance for the industry, analyses and evaluates the current level of risk, suggests the desired future level of risk and gives recommendations that would help achieve the desired performance.

The purpose of this report is to give an account of the risk levels in the mining industry in Australia. Documented evidence shows that the mining industry remains one among the key industries in Australia. While this is that case, this has not been without some significant injuries and incident risk. The purpose of this report is to analyse and evaluate these risks with the sole aim of giving recommendations on how the risks can be minimised or reduced.


The mining industry is a global industry and Australian is one of those countries that heavily invest in it. This is because the returns from this industry are numerous. They include; jobs trade, investment and better living standards for the general population (ICCM, 2015). While this is the case there is no doubt that in the recent past the mining industry in Australia has continued to suffer from many unplanned injuries and accidents that have left devastating effects such as; damaged image, financial losses, loss of lives and closure of some mining companies. This according to DIRD (2013) could be attributed to a lack of an efficient management strategy or simply but applying the available strategies in a piece meal manner. Risk management especially in a hazardous industry like this one is not about simply enacting safety plans and procedures; but having a sustainable systematic risk management process that is followed to the latter (Dekker, 2014). According to Cross (2012) the ideal risk management process in the mining industry requires that risks be managed at every stage of the mining process including; extraction, processing, manufacturing and even in the sale of the resultant products of which some could be harmful still. According to Safe Work Australia, the most common types of risks that combat the mining industry include; workplace healthy and safety, environmental risks, Natural environmental risks, community risks, regulatory risks, production risks and reputational risks. This can be graphically presented as follows;

Risk Management Report

Source: (Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, 2013)

There exists considerable literature on risk management in the mining industry in Australia. The ACARP (2015) reiterates that it is high time the mining industry made a compulsory rule to have risk management part of the programs and work plans. The argument is that risk management is actually directly determines the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation in general. This therefore implies that the risk responsibility management should be linked to staff/ organisation performance and growth in general. The Australian government in conjunction with the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has come up with a framework for the treatment of risks in the mining industry. The framework presents a process for risk management which includes the following steps; communicate and consult, establish the context within which the risk occurs, identify the sources of hazards, identify the risk, analyse, evaluate, treat and lastly monitor and review. This is presented as follows.

Risk Management Report 1

(Australian Coal Association Research Programme, 2015).

RiskAnalysis and Evaluation of the Current Level of

According to Viner (2015) risk analysis is a process that can either be done qualitatively or quantitatively. This report will adopt a quantitative approach to these analyses. Using the figures obtained from the Safe Work Australia, the report will show the common causes of injuries and incidences as well as the possible remedies to the situation.

According to Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum from 2016-2017 approximately 123 fatalities were recorded in the Australian mining Industry. This is compared to the 89 that were recorded from 2012-2014. Additionally the report states that most of these fatalities happened in what is considered as major mining sites in the country. For instance, 38% were from Western Australia, 28% from Queensland and 22% from New South Wales (Education and Standing Committee, Parliament of Western Australia, 2015). The statistics also show that many of these causalities were working in underground mines and were on contract basis.

According to Safe Work Australia (2015) the estimated cost of these accidents was about $1280 million dollars. The Safe Work Australia website reports that cause of the injuries came from many parts of the industry but more profoundly by moving machines (41%), Cave fall-in (36%) electrocution (3%) and finally explosions at 15 per cent. According to the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum report of all the fatalities cases that were observed during this period occurred out of non-compliance with the set rules and procedure. This is about 68 per cent and another 25 per cent happened because the procedures were absent completely. Interestingly approximately 46 per cent of accidents that were met by supervisors were mainly among those that were in their first year of the job. This can be graphically presented as;

Risk Management Report 2

Source: (Safe Work Australia, 2015)

Keeping in mind this alarming statics its high time the government and all the key stakeholders in the mining industry joined hands so as to invest in research that will unearth the real cause of the ever increasing number of causalities in the recent past. Some scholars have reiterated the need to rethink the traditional approaches that have long been used in managing risks and perhaps expand the definition of risk and allow a holistic approach to health and safety management in the mining industry.


Given the key role that the mining industry performs in the Australian industry its important to invest in risk management so as to avert any damages in advance. The data above shows that the incidences and injuries are on the rise. That means all the key stakeholders from the government, contractors, mining companies, experts and the labour force should join hands in making consultative efforts to ensure the risk management plans and procedures are implemented to the latter. To begin with the government should ensure that those companies that deal with mining are seriously vetted before being handed the licence. Those that are already in the industry should be vetted from time to time just to kame sure that they are up to task with risk management.

On their part, the mining companies should ensure that the risk management is part of organisational structure (Cross, 2012). This is so especially for the top management. The board members, chief executives and head of departments should be made aware of the most risks that the company is likely to experience. These risks should then be discussed intensively with the sole aim of finding solution. As aforementioned, the risk management process begins with evaluation of the context and communicating possible sources of hazards. Embracing risk communication is a practice that cannot be overstressed. This should be the goal of the key stakeholders in the industry. This could be challenging especially because as earlier said, injuries are costly and may cost a contractor their licence. It’s because of such dire consequences that sometimes the mining companies continue to fail to communicate the real picture on the ground.

However, it’s important to note that failure to acknowledge and make known which risks are common in the industry makes it hard to tackle the issue all together. Risk communication allows for continuous improvement on the internal and external controls of risk management. There is need for the government to make it mandatory for the mining industry to make sure that are reviewing and monitoring their risk management strategies. This will require that they review their systems, risk management process and their mining cycle (Dekker, 2014). The focus should be especially on those risks that are very critical to the business and the people involved.


In conclusion, it is important to realise the disastrous impact that that injuries and incidences can cause to the mining industry. Therefore any strategies that are adopted should be ones that go through the whole cycle of the mining process. If indeed the usual strategies are failing the industry, there is need to rethink the traditional strategies and think of alternative ways. To begin with there is need to encourage that specific companies and contactors to have safety policies in place. There is no doubt that the national government has done a lot by ensuring that the national framework on occupational health and safety is in place. But this should end there. The mining companies should be encouraged to adopt and domesticate these policies at their level. Earlier it was mentioned that some of the accidents occur because of either the failure to follow the set policies or lack of procedures completely. These policies should be articulate about procedures on transparency, accountability with clear mandates on who is responsible for what.

There is also need for employers to provide periodic training to their staff just to keep them alert and ready to face the challenging working environment. Another thing is that the mining companies need to keep a record of the injuries so that they can know which ones are more prevalent and how can they be dealt with. Additionally, there is need to adapt to new innovations and especially invest in technological means to deal with this menace. Lastly there is need to provide support to those who are victims of these accidents by providing counselling services before they are allowed to work fully.


Australian Coal Association Research Programme (ACARP) (2015). Selection and optimisation of controls, report. C23007.

Cross, J (2012). Risk. In HASPA (Health and Safety Professionals Alliance), The core body of knowledge for generalist OHS professionals. Tullamarine, Victoria: Safety Institute of Australia, <www.ohsbok.org.au>.

Dekker, S. (2014). The field guide to understanding ‘human error’, 3rd edition, Surrey, England

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) (2013). Road deaths, Australia 2013, statistical summary. DIRD: Canberra.

International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) (2015). A guide to good practice: health and safety critical control management, ICMM, London.

Education and Health Standing Committee, Parliament of Western Australia (2015), The impact of FIFO work practices on mental health: final report, viewed 22 May 2017,http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Parliament/commit.nsf/(Report34026448257E 67002BF9D1/$file/20150617%20-Report%20w%20signature%20for%20website.pdf

Safe Work Australia (2014), Occupational Disease Indicators 2014, viewed 22 May 2017,http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/occupat ional-iseaseindicators-2014

Safe Work Australia (2015). The cost of work-related injury and illness for Australian employers, workers and the community: 2012-2013, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/cost-injury- llness-2012

Viner, D. (2015). Occupational risk control: predicting and preventing the unwanted. London: Wiley & Sons Publishers.