What appointments may be required for mining operations?

Overview of legal requirements

Over the life of a mining operation, there is the requirement under the mines safety and inspection legislation to appoint personnel with suitable expertise and qualifications for specific roles or responsibilities. Appointments can be made by the principal employer, or the principal employer can authorise a registered manager to make the appointments.

Under s. 33A of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, a principal employer may authorise a registered manager to make appointments required under ss. 34(1), 35(1), 36(1) or 36(2), 37(1), 38(1) or 38(2) or 38(3), and 39(2).

To ensure compliance with the legislation, some appointments need to be notified (to either the senior or district inspector of mines). For other appointments, notification is not a regulatory requirement but may be desirable to assist in efficient communication with the mines inspectorate. In these instances, a pro-forma is provided for notification purposes.

Statutory appointments requiring notification

Principal employer

Under the act and associated regulations, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) must be notified regarding the principal employer of a mining operation.

Notifying details of principal employer details the process of notifying the department of the principal employer details.

Registered manager

Before operations begin at a mine, the principal employer must appoint a registered manager for the mine.

Notifying appointment of registered manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the registered manager.

A registered manager may also be appointed as an exploration manager where exploration operations are associated with the mine. See the exploration manager section for the notification form.

Alternate registered manager

Where the registered manager is subject to a commute schedule, an alternate registered manager must be appointed.

Notifying appointment of alternate registered manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the alternate registered manager.

Deputy registered manager

Where the registered manager or alternate registered manager is absent from duties, a deputy must be appointed for the duration of the absence. There is no requirement for DMIRS to be informed.

Underground manager

Where underground operations take place, the principal employer must appoint an underground manager.

Notifying appointment of underground manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the underground manager.

Alternate underground manager

Where the underground manager is subject to a commute schedule, an alternate underground manager must be appointed.

Notifying appointment of alternate underground manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the alternate underground manager.

Deputy underground manager

Where the underground manager or alternate underground manager is absent from duties, a deputy must be appointed for the duration of the absence. There is no requirement for the Department to be informed.

Quarry manager

Where quarrying operations take place, the principal employer must appoint a quarry manager to take control of the quarry or sand pit.

Notifying appointment of quarry manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the quarry manager.

It is acknowledged that a small mine such as a sand or limestone extraction operation does not have the same risk profile as a gold or iron ore mine. Therefore an agreement may be sought from the district inspector or State Mining Engineer to operate the mine without appointing a quarry manager.

Alternate quarry manager

Where the quarry manager is subject to a commute schedule, an alternate quarry manager must be appointed.

Notifying appointment of alternate quarry manager the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the alternate quarry manager.

Deputy quarry manager

Where the quarry manager or alternate quarry manager is absent from duties, a deputy must be appointed for the duration of the absence. There is no requirement for the Department to be informed.

Exploration manager

Before exploration activities begin, the principal employer must appoint an exploration manager for the duration of those operations.

Notifying appointment of exploration manager details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the alternate quarry manager.

Where exploration activities are associated with a mine, the registered manager may be appointed as the exploration manager.

An exploration manager is not required if the exploration operations are being carried out by a syndicate or other association of persons such that there are no employees.

On-site person responsible for exploration activities

Where exploration is being conducted, the principal employer must appoint a person who is responsible for the daily site management of exploration activities at that operation.

Notifying appointment of on-site person responsible for exploration activities the process of notifying the department of the appointment of the on-site person responsible for exploration activities.

Ventilation officer

The registered manager is required to appoint a ventilation officer.

Notifying appointment of ventilation officer details the process of notifying the department regarding the appointment of the ventilation officer.

An exemption from the appointment of a ventilation officer is discussed in What are the duties of a ventilation officer?

Other statutory appointments

A registered manager is also required to appoint personnel with specific expertise and qualifications as required. Notification of the following appointments is not a regulatory requirement but the registered manager may wish to advise the department to assist in efficient communication with the mines inspectorate.

Radiation safety officer

Notifying appointment of radiation safety officer details the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of a radiation safety officer.

Electrical supervisor

Below is the a link that you may find useful.

Notifying appointment of electrical supervisor the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of an electrical supervisor.

High voltage operator

Below is the a link that you may find useful.

Notifying appointment of high voltage (HV) operator the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of a high voltage operator.

Mine surveyor

Below is the a link that you may find useful.

Notifying appointment of a mine surveyor details the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of a mine surveyor.

Noise officer

Below is the a link that you may find useful.

Notifying appointment of noise officer details the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of a noise officer.

Classified plant inspector

Below is the a link that you may find useful.

Notifying appointment of classified plant inspector details the process of advising the department regarding the appointment of a classified plant inspector

Other appointments that the registered manager should be aware of are:

  • persons responsible for the general control of construction work
  • construction work supervisors
  • competent persons to be platmen, bracemen, or skipmen for underground shaft mining.

Other appointments implied in the mines safety and inspection legislation

There are many appointments implied in the legislation that may be made to conduct mining operations safely.

For example, under the duty of care legislation contained in section 9 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, supervision must be provided for all employees carrying out work at the mine, which means that supervisors will be required.

The registered manager may appoint people to ensure compliance with a part (e.g. Part 6 Safety in using certain types of plant) or a division (e.g. Division 2 Construction work; Division 3 Emergency preparation) of the Mines safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 or a specific regulation. Such management appointments include:

  • certified winding engine drivers
  • mine rescue trained persons
  • qualified first aid person
  • licensed electrical person
  • high risk licence operators
  • certified person to remove asbestos.

Related information

Resources Safety has developed information sheets answering frequently asked questions relating to appointments or referencing appointments in different work areas.

Summaries of legislation provided are for guidance only, and are not a substitute for reading the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and associated regulations.

Frequently asked questions on appointments on Western Australian mines - information sheet - 350 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on appointments on Western Australian mines.

Frequently asked questions on management and supervision at mining operations - information sheet - 277 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on management and supervision at mining operations.

Frequently asked questions on electrical appointments on Western Australian mines - information sheet - 878 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on electrical appointments on Western Australian mines.

Frequently asked questions on electrical supervision in Western Australian mining operations - information sheet - 369 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on electrical supervision in Western Australian mining operations.

Key positions of responsibilities for exploration not under control of a Registered Manager - information sheet - 519 Kb

This information sheet outlines the key positions of responsibilities for exploration not under control of a Registered Manager and whether further action is needed.