What are the management requirements for the inspection of workplaces?
Workplace inspections are an important part of an effective health and safety management system and help prevent work-related injury and illnesses by identifying and reporting hazards that are inadequately controlled.
The registered manager must ensure that each workplace at the mine is inspected at the prescribed intervals specified in Part 3, Division 3 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995. The regulations stipulate the minimum frequency of inspections required for certain areas.
For a quarry operation, at least one inspection in each working shift is required to be completed by the quarry manager or the appointed competent person.
For underground operations, at least one inspection in each working shift is required to be completed by a person with a first class mine manager’s certificate or an underground supervisor’s certificate. There is also a legislative requirement for workers working alone to be inspected, visited or communicated with at least every two hours. The underground manager may direct that more frequent inspections are required.
For all other workplaces, at least one inspection is required during each working day.
Refer to Part 3, Division 3, and r. 10.5 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995
If there are specific activities at the mining operation that are changing rapidly, more frequent inspection may be justified (e.g. during a shutdown or on a construction project).
What are the benefits of workplace audits and other reviews?
Auditing is a recognised systematic method to monitor, review and check whether a safe working environment is provided and maintained.
There are two main types of audit:
- management system
- high impact function (HIF).
A management system audit is ‘horizontal’ in that it looks across the whole organisational structure and considers the broad scope of management policies and procedures that are in place to manage the organisation’s safety and health at the site.
HIF audits are ‘vertical’ in that they look at the detail of a specific activity through a vertical slice of the organisation’s structure, from senior management to the workplace.
Further information: Safety and health representatives can be involved in inspections and audits. Effective consultation with workers, particularly where a change to process, procedure or plant is expected, also supports a preventative program.
Refer to the following links and documents: