Astral works with Australia’s leading mining, resource and energy companies. Each has its own unique culture, but what they all have in common is workplace health and safety (WH&S) as their number one business priority. We take a closer look at how information management and governance support continuous improvement of WH&S practices.

The inherent risk of asset-intensive operations drives the need for continuous improvement of WH&S with a responsive feedback loop. The analysis of potential risks and adverse events leads to proactive changes in physical infrastructure and operational processes and revision of relevant training and documentation such as maintenance procedures and product safety standards. Failure anywhere in this feedback loop may contribute to major incidents and fatalities. A recent report into a Queensland mine fatality in 2019 points to a breakdown in this feedback loop – safety audit information was not passed on to relevant management.

Therefore, an effective approach to WH&S is based on robust information systems and governance to enable reliable evidence collection, management, analysis and record-keeping. The WH&S ecosystem also needs to be accessible on-demand and in place – i.e. delivered in the field via mobile devices or offline, as illustrated below.

We expect industry to continue to build its WH&S ecosystem, ranging from legislation to technical solutions, especially automation and predictive risk modelling using digital twins.

Figure 1: WH&S ecosystem in asset intensive industries

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