Australian mining operations are heavily focused on getting miners safe to work and they’re spending money on safe transport initiatives for the bus in bus out (BIBO) operations.
The competency requirements for mining bus drivers has increased in the Australian mining industry in recent years with a ‘safe to work’ mindset critical for drivers across the industry.
A mining BIBO transport operator, based in the Pilbara told AMSJ that ‘Australian mining companies are setting high standards when it comes to getting miner’s safe to work. It’s increasing costs, but it’s cleaning up the mine transport industry’.
All drivers are expected to comply with fitness for work policies including fatigue management, drug and alcohol screening. In addition, operators must meet other standards for specific mining operations.
The safe to work transport initiative adopted across the Australian mining industry is likely to clean up a range of BIBO operations that have been lacking in safety competence and awareness.
Mining transport supervisor, Stephen Jones, told AMSJ ‘you have to look at it from the Australian mining companies perspective, the companies spend a lot of money recruiting and training personnel. A bus with fifty personnel involved in an accident can be highly disruptive to a mining operation costing companies significant production revenues.”
Safe to work initiatives have been implemented across a number of key Australian mining operations. Some of the initiatives include:
- Fitness for duty of transport operators;
- The contractual obligation for BIBO transport operators to maintain safe systems of work and safe bus equipment;
- Vehicle requirements to meet the latest crash standards (including Roll Over Protection, frontal crash protection and ADR 68 – Occupant Protection in Buses;
- UHF & satellite and Wifi Communications on buses;
- Incorporation of safety-related videos, mining safety magazines and briefing materials on the bus on the way into the mine;
- Tailored KPI reporting (including in-bus telemetry measuring location, a range of braking & speed issues);
- Traffic management of bus operations;
- Service optimisation to ensure minimal downtime for bus operations and safety of vehicles.
Additionally, ensuring that the BIBO operations seek to minimise environmental impacts are being considered by a range of Australian mining companies in the selection of contract and service providers.
Getting miner’s safe to work is now becoming equally important as keeping them safe at work.
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