Mining Publication: Using Major Hazard Risk Assessment to Appraise and Manage Escapeway Instability Issues: A Case Study
A Major Hazard Risk Assessment (MHRA) was developed in Australia after a series of mine disasters in the 1990's. A MHRA is used to help prevent major hazards, i.e. fire, explosion, wind-blast, outbursts, spontaneous combustion, roof instability and chemical and hazardous substances, from injuring miners. A MHRA is a structured process that identifies the characteristics of major hazards, assesses and ranks the risk they present, and evaluates engineering and administrative controls to mitigate them. These controls typically consists of a broad spectrum of prevention, monitoring, first response, and emergency response techniques and helps to move an operation from a reactive to a proactive approach towards safety. This paper documents a MHRA performed at an underground mine where strata instabilities and fire hazards may threaten the condition of its escapeways. The objective of this MHRA is to 1) identify what hazards could affect the egress through the mine’s escapeways, 2) determine what unwanted events pose the greatest threat for the mine, and 3) recommend a plan to prevent or recover from the potential disruption of egress through the escapeway. The plan provides information on the key existing controls that should be monitored and audited, and makes recommendation of new potential controls to further reduce related risks. By documenting the use of MHRA to this specific ground control issue, this paper provides a framework for others to judge the merits of this approach and to help design and perform these activities.