Information, instruction and training at mines

Mine operators have duties to provide adequate information, instruction and training to employees at the mine.

Read the Regulations

The duties referred to in this guidance are contained in Part 5.3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).

You must read the legislation in addition to this guidance.

Information, instruction and training

This refers to Regulation 441, which is a duty for all mine operators and operators of prescribed mines.

All mine operators must provide employees with information, instruction and training in relation to:

  • all mining hazards at the mine
  • implementing risk control measures
  • strategies for managing risk with alcohol and drugs, and fatigue

Operators of prescribed mines must also provide this in relation to the mine’s:

  • safety management system
  • emergency plan
  • safety role for employees including their contribution when:
    • identifying mining hazards
    • implementing, reviewing and testing control measures
    • establishing and implementing a safety management system
    • conducting and documenting safety assessments

All mine operators must ensure that what is provided to employees is monitored, reviewed and revised in order to remain effective.

Specific types of information and instruction that must be provided

Information and instruction to non-employees (visitors)

This refers to Regulation 445, which is a duty for all mine operators and operators of prescribed mines.

All mine operators must ensure that anyone, who isn’t an employee, entering the mine is:

  • informed about any mining hazards to which they could be exposed
  • instructed in the safety precautions they should take while at the mine

Operators of a prescribed mine must also ensure that site visitors are instructed on what to do in the event of an emergency.

These actions should be taken as soon as possible once a person has arrived at the mine.

How to inform and instruct non-employees (visitors)

Consider using the following induction methods:

  • classroom inductions
  • verbal induction using checklists
  • induction videos
  • computer-based training

Induction content should be tailored around the hazards and emergency response measures specific to the mine, and the actions each visitor must follow in the event of an emergency. Inductees should be given the opportunity to highlight any uncertainties they may have about the induction content, and mine operators should respond with clear feedback.

Mine operators should be able to demonstrate that all visitors have received a site induction.

Information to job applicants

Mine operators must provide job applicants with full details regarding the purpose and nature of the medical examinations and health monitoring activities that are required to be conducted in respect of all employees under regulation 446 of the OHS Regulations.

How to inform job applicants

This information should be provided before employing an applicant. It could be provided during job interviews; while developing the tending details for outsourced work; during contract negotiations, or as part of a vacancy advertisement.

Consider whether you need to provide this information in languages other than English.

Response to an alert from an employee

If an employee gives you information about a major mining hazard, you must inform them about any action that is taken in response to their information, including how you investigated the matter pursuant to regulation 444 of the OHS Regulations.

How to respond to an employee alert

When responding to an employee alert regarding a major mining hazard, mine operators should ensure that the response clearly details any actions taken on the matter, including any investigation undertaken. It is preferable to provide a response in writing to both create a record of the response and facilitate clearer understanding.

Tips on providing information and instruction

When providing information and instruction to employees and non-employees, mine operators should consider:

  • using a method of communication that is easy to understand
  • confirming that employees and non-employees understand the information and instruction provided through feedback
  • providing regular refreshers on the information provided to aid in understanding

Tips on providing training

Mine operators can improve the quality of training provided to employees by focusing on few key areas, such as:

  • keeping the length of training sessions as short as practicable to aid people in maintaining focus
  • avoiding the inclusion of unnecessary information that does not directly add to the goal of the training session
  • considering an interactive approach to training that allows employees to participate using practical examples

Types of training that could be provided

When you must provide information to employees

All mine operators must inform health and safety representatives and affected employees about:

  • the reasons for adopting any risk control measure, and
  • the reasons for rejecting any alternative risk control measures that had been discussed during the consultation

All mine operators must also provide information, instruction and training to employees in relation to:

  • all mining hazards at the mine
  • the implementation of risk control measures adopted under regulation 405
  • the strategies developed, implemented and maintained under regulation 409  (alcohol and drugs) or 410 (fatigue)

Operators of prescribed mines must also inform employees about:

  • the content and implementation of the safety management system
  • the emergency plan, and
  • the safety role for employees developed under regulation 424

Keeping a record of training provided

Under regulation 442 of the OHS Regulations, you must keep a record of all training provided to employees at the mine.

While a person is employed at the mine their training record should be available for inspection.

Reviewing and revising information, instruction and training

Some techniques for ensuring relevance and effectiveness include:

  • periodically reviewing training modules and associated material is to ensure is it contemporary (this should reference information relating to mining hazards and associated risk)
  • implementing a process to ensure training modules are developed for all new plant and machinery brought to the mine
  • analysing incident reports to identify the number of incidents where insufficient or inadequate training is identified as a major contributor.
  • monitoring the successful completion of training schedules
  • periodically testing employee knowledge

Operators of prescribed mines could develop safety management system performance standards that measure the effectiveness of training systems, for example:

  • the percentage of inductions satisfactorily completed
  • annual completion of training based on an analysis of training needs