Mining Product: Focus on Prevention: Conducting a Hazard Risk Assessment
The first step to emergency preparedness and maintaining a safe workplace is defining and analyzing hazards. Although all hazards should be addressed, resource limitations usually do not allow this to happen at one time. Risk assessment can be used to establish priorities so that the most dangerous situations are addressed first and those least likely to occur and least likely to cause major problems can be considered later. This training package was developed to assist instructors as they (1) determine how to use risk assessment to improve safety preparedness and (2) present risk assessment concepts and tools to trainees. The concepts and tools presented here can be applied to any mine hazard. Information in this package is appropriate for workers from all types of mines. A risk analysis can be conducted by anyone familiar with the location being studied. During a risk assessment, hazards are evaluated in terms of the likelihood that a problem may occur and the damage it would cause if such an event did occur. Adequate mine safety and emergency preparedness requires considering all of the possible hazards that could be encountered. Some hazards, however, are more likely to cause problems than others at a given mine and some would result in greater damage than would others. These differences are identified by conducting a risk analysis. The outcome of the analysis can be used to target resources at the types of events that are most likely to occur and/or are most destructive. Emergency situations that are very likely to happen and would do considerable damage to people and property should be targeted for immediate remediation and/or plans should be made for effective response if remediation isn't possible. Potential situations that are less likely or that would have less severe consequences are identified for attention after the more serious hazards have been addressed.