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|A common theme running through recently introduced mining health and safety legislation in many parts of the world is risk assessment. Most recently, risk assessment legislation has been introduced across the mining industry of South Africa and the view that the introduction of risk assessment based legislation provides an ideal opportunity to improve on past health and safety performance is presented. Risk assessment techniques range from highly complex safety system techniques that are used in high technology process industries, to subjective techniques based on simple judgements that are finding use in many other industries. The objective of this paper is to shed some light on risk assessment, not by detailing the risk assessment process but by identifying the crucial elements that need to be considered if risk assessments are to be successful in changing health and safety performance. A case study is presented illustrating the introduction of risk assessment into the Ingwe Coal Corporation, one of South Africa?s largest mining houses, to indicate how the system was developed and how it is being used.|