Working Safely with Geotechnical Risk in Quarries

By on April 5, 2016

CMPA Secretariat reports on the successful day recently held in the north east of Victoria for CMPA members.

On 18 February 2016 the CMPA held a second workshop (previously held in 2015) to expand on the collective knowledge of its members and to inform them of their responsibilities with respect to “Working Safely with Geotechnical Risk in Quarries”.

SITE PHOTO: The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources addresses the members.

SITE PHOTO: The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources addresses the members.

One of the highlights of the day was the official launch of the guideline by The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources. (see page 5 for Minister’s comments) The main objective of the day was to support CMPA members to meet the requirements of the Victoria Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 by ensuring:

  • Geotechnical hazards associated with quarry ground movement and quarry operations are identified, assessed where required and then controlled in a manner to reduce the risk of personal or vehicle engulfment; and
  • Quarry infrastructure is established in a manner so as to prevent vehicles which have lost control, or persons working close to edges from falling to another level.

The day commenced at the Kinglake Community Centre with in excess of 50 CMPA members in attendance including representatives from WorkSafe Victoria and DEDJTR.

The workshop was proudly sponsored by Galesafe Weighing and Orica Australia (Quarry Services) and was facilitated by David McKelvie of Safemix who took us through the key areas of the guideline.

The purpose of the document is to outline established industry practices collectively endorsed by CMPA members which may be used as a guide when:

  • Sourcing information for establishing and applying for a Work Plan;
  • Planning and establishing quarry infrastructure such as faces, dams, sediment settlement ponds, haul roads, berms, stockpiles, overburden dumps and rehabilitation;
  • Conducting drill and blast activities;
  • Establishing Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and/or Safe Work Procedures (SWP) to guide employees and contractors who are potentially exposed to geotechnical or quarry infrastructure hazards in their working role and working environment;
  • Providing resource materials for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) conducting training in surface extraction operations;
  • Providing resource materials to our community who may be seeking information in regards to how CMPA Members and other construction material processors conduct their surface extraction operations.

The next presenter was Don Miller, Principal Engineering Geologist from Coffey Partners who spoke about Geotechnical Awareness – Failures in Open Pits, it was a very informative and pictorial presentation and enjoyed by all.

A workers lunch brought opportunities to network with fellow members and to discuss what had been learned during the morning’s presentations.

SITE PHOTO: Tour of Castella Quarries.

SITE PHOTO: Tour of Castella Quarries.

After lunch the Regulators, Worksafe and DEDJTR provided further information on Geotechnical Risks associated with quarries. The bus trip to Castella Quarries involved a unique opportunity to
visit a site which was 645 metres above sea level. It is a Hornfels deposit which has been in operation less than 20 years and has the potential to be around for over a hundred years.

Expectations were met with participants gaining a further understanding of the issues.

“I learnt something about rock falls that I didn’t know.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learnt a lot from the site visit.”
“A very informative day and it’s good to see how other quarries battle with similar issues.”

Thanks to all who helped make the day such a success especially the presenters from Coffey Partners, Worksafe, DEDJTR and The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy and Resources.

Thank you to our sponsors Galesafe Weighing and Orica Australia (Quarry Services) and to David McKelvie from Safemix for facilitating the workshop. Lastly to Castella Quarries for allowing us to visit their quarry.

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