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Managing health and safety risks: Implications for tailoring health and safety management system practices

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2016, Vol. 340, No. 1, pp. 100-103

Willmer, D.R.; Haas, E.J.



As national and international health and safety management system (HSMS) standards are voluntarily accepted or regulated into practice, organizations are making an effort to modify and integrate strategic elements of a connected management system into their daily risk management practices. In high-risk industries such as mining, that effort takes on added importance. The mining industry has long recognized the importance of a more integrated approach to recognizing and responding to site-specific risks, encouraging the adoption of a risk-based management framework. Recently, the U.S. National Mining Association led the development of an industry-specific HSMS built on the strategic frameworks of ANSI: Z10, OHSAS 18001, The American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care, and ILO-OSH 2001. All of these standards provide strategic guidance and focus on how to incorporate a plan-do-check-act cycle into the identification, management and evaluation of worksite risks. This paper details an exploratory study into whether practices associated with executing a risk-based management framework are visible through the actions of an organization’s site-level management of health and safety risks. The results of this study show ways that site-level leaders manage day-to-day risk at their operations that can be characterized according to practices associated with a risk-based management framework. Having tangible operational examples of day-to-day risk management can serve as a starting point for evaluating field-level risk assessment efforts and their alignment to overall company efforts at effective risk mitigation through a HSMS or other processes.