Report: APP CMHS Project 4

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4.1. Strengths of the Australian Process

The Australian experience of implementation of risk management has been an evolutionary process with time for a step-wise introduction. This step-wise implementation has assisted the development of training and education programs that support the development of skills and knowledge of workers and managers; and the development of tools suitable for the mining industry. This process has encouraged maturity to develop in terms of understanding of both the value of the process and the outcomes.

Although the catalyst for the widespread implementation of risk management may have been the Regulator, the growth and success of the process has been due to the recognition of the benefits by the companies.

This evolution has flowed as: regulators tell what to do  companies do it because they have to  companies grasp and understand the value of risk management  industry improves and even challenges itself about how well it is being used in order to improve i.e. are we using this technique well? This is not unlike a macro version of personal behaviour and attitude change: there is a need to change behaviour in a certain direction (the use of seat belts to protect in case of car accident); punitive laws are established; negative reinforcement follows; peoples behaviour is modified, albeit with some resistance; people become conditioned to the behaviour; it eventually is realised that the behaviour is having a positive impact; people see that wearing a seat belt has a positive outcome and the resistance to wearing seat belts disappears; people then consider those who do not wear seat belts as recalcitrant, because “it’s just the way we all do it here”!

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