Report: APP CMHS Project 4




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6. Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery by Country

6. Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery by Country

Crisis management typically relates to actions taken by an organisation in response to unexpected events or situations with potentially negative effects that threaten resources and people or the success and continued operation of the organisation. Crisis management includes the development of plans to reduce the risk of a crisis occurring and to deal with any crises that do arise, and the implementation of these plans so as to minimise the impact of crises and assist the organisation to recover from them. Crisis situations in the mining industry usually relate to a safety or health hazard that is out of control.

Many forms of energy are required to achieve the productivity demands of the modern mining industry. Some of these energies are inherent in the natural environment of the mine; as covered in Project 1 Identify and collate leading safety technologies, such as chemical energy in the form of flammable gas and spontaneous combustion or gravity in the form of roof falls. It is not an option, at this stage, to eliminate such energies if resources are to be won from the mine. Therefore, the energies must be managed to as low a risk level as achievable.

Failure to manage these energies has resulted in numerous disasters and significant loss of life around the world. Such incidents as Piper Alpha, Three Mile Island and Flixborough have been similarly addressed in the Project 1 report as exemplifying catastrophic loss of control. These situations have highlighted the failure of prescriptive legislative regimes in delivering a safe work environment. The trend in many countries is to an enabling style of legislation that places responsibility and hazard delineation back onto the engineers and managers who should know the hazards the best – those at the site. Such approaches seek to understand the hazards and implement controls of a risk based nature. The resulting performance indicators have illustrated that significant improvement has occurred through this approach. However, the response has been largely driven from a systems perspective – i.e. developing a documented approach or implementing engineering controls to managing the hazard. There is a need to consider people interactions and operability with the system framework; particularly with recognition given to the natural fallibility of people.


6. Crisis Management and Disaster Recovery by Country

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