Macarthur Coal Ltd WHS Audit 

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Macarthur Coal Ltd代写 Macarthur Coal Ltd is one of the largest companies that engage in intensive coal mining in Queensland’ Bowen Basin.

 

Introduction

Queensland is rich in coal and other natural resources. Macarthur Coal Ltd is one of the largest companies that engage in intensive coal mining in Queensland’ Bowen Basin. The company produces a low volatile pulverized injection coal (LC PCI) which is mostly used for making steel. It is also the leading steel producer and coal exporter around the world. The company was incorporated in October 1995 and it is owned by Ken Talbot. It employs more than 400 locals from Queensland.

The workers are employed in the mines to extract the coals from the mining sites. The workers are employed as miners, blast, and operation of mining machinery and also perform similar responsibilities for coal and ore extraction in underground mines. The work also involves constructions of tunnels, passageways, and mining shafts to enable mining works. The company also employs shaft sinking and tunneling specialists in the underground mines.

Industry statistics  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Over the last decades, the industry has made a notable health and safety improvement which has resulted in a reduction in incidences of serious injuries and fatalities. Nevertheless, in Australia, mining contributes to the highest numbers of fatalities and injury than any other industry.

The fatalities rate in 12 years to 2015, in the mining industry decreased by 65% wherein every 100000 workers there were 12.4 workers in 2003, to 4.4 in 2005. In the mining industry, 9 workers die every year, making it the third highest fatality rate of any industry.

Risks associated with the mining industry  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The workers in the mining industries are faced by a number of inherent risks ranging from body stress, and disorders of the muscle and bones. The workers also risk slipping and falling inside the mines and being hit by machinery and moving objects. The study has found that 39% of workers suffer muscular stress due to the handling of heavy objects, 25% reported falls, trips and slips, and 18% represented those who were hit by machinery and other moving objects. The study was conducted from 2001 to 2015(The Conversation, 2017).

Health and safety duties

Under this section, it is important to understand the distinguishing aspects between an Act, Regulation, and Code of practices in perspective to the Macarthur Coal Ltd. Also important to understand is the relationships between the three principles in controlling work health and safety. An act is a parliament legislation targeting regulates a specific legal policy in the governance of a country. On the other hand, regulations and codes of practice are the guiding principles for the application of the act (Comcare, 2016).

While auditing Macarthur, I will be guided by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety regulation 2011. 

Macarthur Coal Ltd代写
Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

On the other hand, Hazardous Manual Task Codes of Practice 2011 is the applicable code of practice in this audit. Therefore, all the company stakeholders have specific dusty to play in the fulfillment of the Act and the Regulation. The duties of care are not transferable under the WHS Act S. 14. However, those belonging to different groups in the company, have additional duties, for instance, a customer who is also a supplier. The company uses the Act to know the responsibility of every stakeholder and also make sure each one of them plays their part in ensuring safety in the workplace.

The sole purpose of this WHS assessment is to ascertain whether MacArthur Coal Ltd is in compliance with the act and the regulations and the level of compliance. The assessment will try to see the potential hazards likely to affect the workers and how the company has put mechanisms to control the risks and ensure the safety of its workers. In the company, I will assess how the underground mines, tunnels, and shafts are safe for the workers and any emissions in the in the workplace. Other hazards to the workers include slipping, run over by machines, noise, hit by moving machinery, tripping, and suffocation. All these pose risks to the health of the worker and the company need to protect them in accordance with the act and the regulations.

Duty of care  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Under the transition to modern WHS legislation, regulators have largely removed explicit or prescriptive regulation. And require companies and workers to exercise a ‘Duty of Care’, which means that:

  • Employers are required to provide and maintain a working environment where, as far as is practicable, employees are not exposed to hazards.
  • All employees have a general duty of care to ensure their own safety and health at work. They also have a general duty of care towards others, to ensure that their actions or inaction do not put others’ safety or health at risk.
  • Self-employed people must ensure, so far as is practicable, that no-one will be adversely affected by any of the work done at the mine, or hazards that may arise from it (DMP 2011)

Duty-of-care provisions of Acts and Regulations are built up under common law. Which has developed over time as a result of decisions taken in courts of law. Prescriptive regulations are built up under statute law.

The duty of care is shared between employer and employee. However, primary responsibility rests with the employer, as they largely have control over the working conditions. The duty owed by the employer may be higher to an employee who is inexperienced than to one who has experience, reflecting this level of control. Similarly, a high duty of care exists in hazardous environments.

The employer has a duty of care to employees and others to provide:  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

  • reasonably competent staff
  • sufficient workers to carry out work safely
  • safe places of work
  • proper equipment
  • safe systems of work.

The duty of care encourages the management of WHS rather than compliance with regulations. The differences between common law and statute law are as follows:

  • Under statute law, each element of noncompliance must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Under common law, each element of failing the duty of care is assessed on the balance of probabilities.
  • Under statute law, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.
  • Under common law, the burden of innocence lies with the plaintiff.

Acceptable risk  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The second key principle is the management of WHS to an acceptable level of risk. The Queensland Coal Mining Safety and Health Act  2011 states:

How is an acceptable level of risk achieved

1.To achieve an acceptable level of risk, this Act requires that management and operating systems must be put in place for each coal mine.

2.This Act provides that the systems must incorporate risk management elements and practices appropriate for each coal mine too—identify, analyze, and assess risk; and  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

a. avoid or remove unacceptable risk; and

b. monitor levels of risk and the adverse consequences of retained residual risk; and

c. investigate and analyze the causes of serious accidents and high potential incidents with a view to preventing their recurrence; and

d. review the effectiveness of risk control measures, and take appropriate corrective and preventive action; and

e. mitigate the potential adverse effects arising from residual risk.

3. Also, the way an acceptable level of risk of injury or illness may be achieved may be prescribed under a regulation.

Similar definitions are used in legislation covering other jurisdictions. There is no absolute definition of ‘acceptable’ risk. It is something that must be decided for each site and activity.

After the audit of health and safety compliance at Macarthur Coal Ltd, the findings are that the company exercise their duties. And obligations and primary care and has complied with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

The focus of the audit  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The objective of this inspection was to find out the environment the workers of Macarthur Coal Ltd work in and the risks that they are likely to encounter in their undertakings. In particular, the audit investigated the exposer of workers to toxic gases while in the underground mines. And how the control measures that have been put in place by the management to safely guide the employees.

It was found that the company is able to observe the work health and safety measures as stipulated in the Queensland mining WHS legislation. Workers have been provided with gas masks to protect underground workers from exposer to poisonous. The company has also installed fresh air supply pipes which supply underground workers with enough oxygen and lower temperatures.

Industry research  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Coal is the largest export from in Australia totaling $43.1 billion in the years 2010-11. The industry provides over 100000 employment opportunities, contributes to 55% of Australia’s energy requirements and spends approximately $16 billion on goods and services.

However, this prolific industry has its undoing. The coal mining is associated with various health risks to the workers, which include the following:

  1. Coal dust
  2. Noise
  3. Body vibrations
  4. Exposure to UV
  5. Musculoskeletal disorders
  6. Thermal stress

Safe Work Australia Surveys for the health risks and fatalities in Australia.  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The data provide the number of deaths and injuries per year due to work-related activity in coal mines. The research shows that, from 2003 to 2016, there are more than 3300 deaths relating to injuries in the coal mines. The year 2016 recorded the lowest death rate at 1.5 fatalities per 100000 employees which represent 182 workers, compared to the series beginning in 2003.

According to Queensland mines and quarries safety performance and health report (2016–2017), the fatality rate was 0.02 per million hours worked. The findings show a downward trending since the 2007-12 period. The report shows that the deaths and injuries were caused by the failure of preventative or critical controls. The common fatal hazards in coal mining are trips and slips. The rates of serious fatalities remain relatively stable in 2016-17.

There was poor safety and health data reports to the Queensland Mines Inspectorate, which includes causative information, limits data analysis, and management strategies. The company lacked proper records of the fatalities in the mines which limited the auditing of the work health and safety.

Social factors  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Workplace

As earlier indicated, Macarthur Coal Ltd is one of the largest coal mining and steel companies in Australia located at Queensland’ Bowen Basin. The company produces one of the best coal and ore for steel making which contributes significantly to the amount of Australia’s coal exports.

Competition 

Coal mining and production industry are faced with stiff competitions because of a large amount of coal and a high number of mining companies. Although coal provides more than 55% of Australia’s energy, much is also exported. Macarthur is facing direct competition from Qcoal Group, Caledon Coal Pty Ltd, Sjits Coal mining, Peabody Energy Australia Pty Ltd among others. In the international market, the company also works through competition from other oversea coal mining companies. The company shows a competitive advantage over the other similar firms because it is one of the largest coal producers in Australia making therefore, it has a competitive advantage over other producers be able to produce at a lower cost per unit.

Formal HRM and H&S Departments  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Macarthur Coal Ltd is a mature company with a well-established management structure. The company has employed more than 400 workers in the field and mines. Therefore, there was a need for a formal human resource department to oversee hiring, management of employees, and welfare. The company also has established a formal Health and Safety department which together with the human resource department liaise to fulfill the employee health and safety.

Unionized  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Workers unions are meant for workers protection and representation in case of dispute or infringement of fundamental rights by the employer. Workers are free to join the worker’s unions as long as the terms of their work allows. In Queensland, workers join The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) what is mandated to protect the interest of the members who are workers. The company has union representatives who report regularly to the union on the work progress or report work-related issues. They also consult with the management and the workers to see the better and improved work environment.

Culture and employment type  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The whole organization culture is shaped by the terms of employment and employment demography and the relationship that exist between the management and workers. The Macarthur Coal Ltd mainly employs mature aged males particularly for casual mining jobs in the mines. Generally, there were 500 employees out of whom 50% were casual workers in the mines and other manual jobs in the mining site. The full-time workers are employed on a contractual basis and permanent. Most workers came from the local community at Bowen Basin. The closeness of majority of workers makes health and safety of critical importance in Macarthur (Quinlan, Bohle & Rawlings-Way, 2015).

Gender and risk  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Due to the intensive manual works that are involved in the mining industry, Macarthur mainly attracts male employees at an older age of 30 years and above. The ratio of male to female is 10 is to 1, which was a clear indication of men job at Macarthur Coal Ltd. The other reasons for many males in the company are because of the nature of the jobs and the risks associated with it (Booth & Katic, 2013).

The study shows that adult males have higher life goals and expectations in the family that they tend to partake in risky jobs than young adults. Older adults were found to have higher risk tendencies that they seek risk (Mather, et al. 2012). It is therefore evident that older males are more likely to seek jobs at Macarthur than their counterparts because of the risk associated with the company.

Customers  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The market for the Macarthur Coal Ltd is very diversified varying from the households to the large manufacturing companies. At household levels, coal is used for heating during cold season and for cooking, while at the industrial level it is used for heating and boilers and steam production. The company produces for both local and export markets in Europe and Asia. On the other hand, the company engages in steel extraction from the coal ores which make high-quality steel in Australia. The steel produced is sold to the distributors for constructions and industrial cast maker for various steel products.

Pace of work  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The underground working environment at Macarthur Coal Ltd allows moderate work pace due to the intensity of the work involved. The workers carry heavy loads to the rail tracks in the tunnel from where they have carried up the ground surface. Due to this manual job, the pace is dictated by the human speed and the machines are set to run at the same pace as men at work. The surface, most of the work is mechanized and therefore the pace is fast. The works involved are loading and offloading of rail trucks and transport trucks.

The workflow runs from the underground tunnels up the ground surface for further processes. The coal is extracted by then loaded on the trucks then taken up the shaft to the surface. On the surface, the coal is offloaded to the trucks for transport to various destinations. This process is continuous and strenuous to the body, thus worker performs tasks on hourly shifts. On the other hand, the rate of mining or solely dependent on the supply needs in the market. Therefore, there are times when a worker works low or faster than normal to balance the stock and order time. This makes the work to be more flexible and adaptable.

Main job tasks and the support  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Jobs at Macarthur Coal Ltd are basically divided into distinctive areas with a specific scope of roles and support system. The company is divided into management, mining and sales and distribution each of which has a job support system. Management mainly runs the administrative activities of the company supported by the departments which include finance, human resource, research, and health and safety departments. There are other physical supports like front office activities, office ergonomics, and office electronics.

The support systems for the mining activities are the training of the miners, safe operation procedures, safety training, machinery, tunneling, and shafts and work health and safety measures. The sales department of Macarthur is assisted by the sales manager and support staffs. The support systems in the sale department include office furniture ergonomics, computers, telephones, and other equipment. It also involve training on fatigues management, sale activities methods and workers help programs.

Inspection Results – Summary of Duties and Overall Compliance & Consultative Arrangements

Introduction  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The observations at the Macarthur Coal Ltd mining site, it was evident that the management has managed to observe. And maintain health and safety measures in accordance with the Queensland legal requirements as stipulated under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Duties

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011will be used as the measurement standard for the company’s observations to the legal duties of care and obligations. This part analyzes the specific duties of each stakeholder under the act and the regulations. Under this analysis, we will see who the duty of primary lies to as provided by the WHS Act S. 19. In addition to that, it will establish the other stakeholders and their duties as far as the WHS act and regulations are concerned.

The primary duty of care  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Section 19 of the WHS Act, state that Macarthur Coal Ltd has the primary care in regard to health and safety of the workers. The observation of these primary duties is vested in the management of the company because it is the one conducting the business of the company. As shown below in the table, the collected evidence has shown that Macarthur has been exercising compliance in accordance with the specifications of duties and obligations under the Act and Regulation. The company was found to be practicing all the duties stipulated under WHS Act S. 19 (1), 2, 3, 4 & 5 as shown in appendix 1 (table 1). To achieve the company ensured that the resources are available, installation of signposts, and fencing around the site and the premises (WHS Act s. 2, 3, S. 24 & S. 25).

Macarthur ensured all the tunnels, rails, and shafts are securely constructed to avoid them collapsing on the underground miners (WHS Act S. 23, S. 24 & S. 25).    Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The workers in the underground are well trained on the safety issues and how they are supposed to protect themselves from health risks while at work (WHS Reg S. 39). They are provided with facilities to prevent injuries when operations (WHS Reg S. 40). The company has also made sure the supply of air in the underground mines is sufficient to avoid low oxygen which may suffocate the workers. They are provided with PPE such as gas masks, gloves and earplugs to control inhaled air and noise from the machinery (WHS Reg S. 44 (2).

Other facilities available are toilets, and bathrooms and lunch rooms which are clean (WHS RegS. 41). The evidence was in the training manuals. The company provides first aid where there are rooms set aside specifically for first aids fully equipped and accessible (WHS RegS. 42). The company has a duty to maintain and implement emergency plans (WHS Reg. S. 44).

The statistics within the company has shown that most people suffer injury from slip or tripping or being hit by a moving object (WHS Reg S. 54).  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Rails and cranes are well fitted to avoid such accidents of falling on the slide.

The company supplies every new worker with the employment practices especially in machine operations and mining (WHS RegS. 85). The workers are provided with work licenses before being allowed in the mines and machine operations.

Consultative arrangements    Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

According to Johnstone (2011), consultation is a critical element in auditing for the work health and safety as shown in table 3.

The company has a duty to consult employees under the WHS Act S.47 where applicable. The consultation as planned by the Macarthur is being done in accordance with WHS Act S.48. Consultations made were from the management officers, human resource representatives, union representatives, and records of the company.

Inspection results – Hazards, Risks and Control  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Hazards

The following as shown in Table 4 were the main identified hazard during the inspection. The first one was the depth of the mines which was more than 200 feet underground. Second, was the exposure to loud noise from machinery in an underground mine. The third was an overhead crane that moved up and down the shaft. The last hazard was the manual work done by the underground miners which were likely to cause body stress.

Risks  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The risk of carrying coal to the rail tracks which are later carried up to the surface is likely to cause muscular-skeletal disorder as shown in table 5. High noise is associated with noise-induced hearing problems. The risk associated with suspending cranes in the shaft to the surface pose the risk of hitting workers after mechanical failure or accidental slipping of the load. And lastly, deep are associated with low oxygen and poisonous gas. Therefore, workers are likely to suffer from suffocation or poisonous gas due to such depths.

Calculations of the risk

The risk calculations are shown in table 5 &6. There is the likelihood that an employee was exposed to toxic gases while in the underground mines. The most likely consequences are either death or respiratory complications which gives a high-risk rating and a high score of 500 as in appendix 2. Exposure to high noise can cause-noise induced disorder. This likely consequence will be hearing disability with a very high-risk rating of score 500.

The risk posed by the cranes in the shafts had a possibility of causing death in it fall on any person in the company. The risk is his because of the seriousness of the likely consequence, thus the risk score is 500 as shown in appendix 2 below. Carrying heavy loads cause body stress and muscular-skeletal disorder. Which is a very high risk of disability with a score of 500 as shown below.

Controls  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

Controls As shown in Appendix 1 (Table 7), the control measures to eliminate body stress and muscular-skeletal disorder are suggested in the Prevention of Hazardous Manual Task Code of Practice. The Code of Practice indicates that tasks requiring shoulder and arm movements should be performed between hip and shoulder height (CoP.s.4.3); be located directly in front of worker (CoP.s.4.3); provide for job rotation (CoP.s.4.9) & more frequent rest breaks (CoP.s.4.9). All of the above control measures are currently in place.

Appendix

Table 1

References  Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

The Conversation. (2017). The facts on Australian coal production. [online] Available at: http://theconversation.com/the-facts-on-australian-coal-production-43255 [Accessed 13 June 2018 ].

Codes of practice. (2016). Comcare.gov.au, from https://www.comcare.gov.au/the_scheme/the_whs_act/codes_of_practice [Retrieved 13 June 2018 ]

Quinlan, M., Bohle, P., & Rawlings-Way, O. (2015). Health and safety of homecare workers engaged by temporary employment agencies. Journal of Industrial Relations, 57(1), 94-114.

Booth, A. L., & Katic, P. (2013). Cognitive skills, gender and risk preferences.Economic Record, 89 (284), 19-30. doi:10.1111/1475-4932.12014

Anon. Energy and Construction (2012) Australian Coal Association http://www.australiancoal.com.au at 20 December 2012.

Mather, M., Mazar, N., Gorlick, M. A., Lighthall, N. R., Burgeno, J., Schoeke, A., & Ariely, D. (2012). Risk preferences and aging: The “certainty effect” in older adults’ decision making.Psychology and Aging, 27(4), 801-816. doi:10.1037/a0030174

Johnstone, R. (2011). Dismantling worker categories: The primary duty of care, and worker consultation, participation, and representation, in the model work health and safety bill 2009. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 9(2), 91.

Work Health and Safety Act 2011, (QLD)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, (QLD)

Macarthur Coal Ltd代写
Macarthur Coal Ltd代写

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