Rational Management of Risk

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Risk Management has been applied relatively slowly in the mining industry. Except for the risk concept application in financial considerations, the application of Risk Management in safety management has been far from satisfactory. When applied it was treated in a global occupational safety and health sense. Regardless of how much the mining industry has progressed over the years it is still, in many respects, `state-of-the-art' business. The safety aspects of mining are well known and yet little understood by the public. Regardless of what has been achieved so far and how much effort has been put into it, mining is regarded as an unsafe and somehow rude business. Safety records of the mining industry vary from State-to-State. Latest mining related disasters in PNG and Queensland and some other fatal accidents support this public perception. They purport a need for change in managing safety in the mining industry. The latest mining fatalities have raised the issue: What must be done to improve safety standards? Duty of care, risk management and system engineering concepts can provide some answers. Risk Management principles which have been advocated for some time provide many answers and explanations and can make safety management more constructive and workable. What has been missing so far is that this concept has neither been applied nor has been modified for its practical application and purpose on a larger scale. A risk management approach to the management of safety and health in the mining industry is addressed, herein. This approach does not attempt to provide the solution. It does, however, provide a basic understanding of what Risk and Risk Management are all about. Rational management of risk is addressed in the life cycle and system contexts. A system of continuous improvement is applied. There is always a chain of events, outcome, exposure, consequence(s), and consequence(s) value(s). It means that development of an event takes place in time and space. Dynamic circumstances have been created in or within the system. It is a decision-making process designed to provide a methodology which is directed not toward a mathematical model but toward easy use and application in dynamic working environment, by decision-makers who can be anybody from either a risk taker or a risk creator. The emphasis is placed not only on arriving at the best practical, possible and fair decision but also on structured and systematic acquisition of knowledge about the system, its hazards and associated risks, hence increasing the decision maker's ability to manage the decision-making process related to the management of risk.
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