OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 688 Unsafe conditions

Subsection 688(1)

This subsection is based on the principle that team work and shared accountability ensure everyone’s safety. Regardless of role or seniority, any worker finding a situation that might be hazardous to workers in an underground mine is responsible for alerting workers to the problem and notifying a mine official who must implement evacuation plans and take action to remedy the situation. Records of the event are used in subsequent review, which will address both the cause of the event and the effectiveness of monitoring and management systems.

Subsection 688(2)

The same responsibilities described in subsection 688(1) apply to workers at the surface of an underground mine.

Subsection 688(3)

Given that a specified hazardous situation has been reported to a mine official, this subsection compels the official to take immediate action by withdrawing workers from the area affected by the hazard if there is any potential of workers being exposed to the reported hazard. The emphasis here is on “immediate action” to minimize worker exposure to possible injury. Such actions must be taken since the underground coal mining environment can rapidly change and a delay of decisions or action can result in serious consequences.

Subsection 688(4)

This subsection requires that a record of identified serious hazards be maintained and brought to the attention of mine workers. By recording identified hazards, workers can review the records as often as desired. Records allow developing trends to be analyzed and may assist both management and workers to identify needed remedial actions.