The Mine Safety Regulatory Reform Incident Prevention Strategy is implementing the recommendations from the Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) Fatalities Review. This includes examining the role of human and organisation factors in incident prevention

Human and organisational factors are the environmental, organisational and job factors, along with human and individual characteristics, that influence behaviour at work in a way that can affect health and safety. Read more on our factsheet Human and organisational factors in mining [PDF, 125.35 KB].

Human  and organisational factors can include:

  • human failures, including errors and non-compliance
  • over-reliance on procedures to manage the risk and lack of user friendly procedures
  • competence, through a combination of skills, experience and knowledge
  • staffing and workload, having the right numbers of the right people in the right place at the right time
  • management of organisational change and organisational structural design
  • communication of safety critical information, both verbally and written
  • design of control rooms, plant and equipment
  • fatigue from excessive work times or poorly designed shift patterns
  • organisational culture and the 'way things are done' in the workplace
  • adequate resources for maintenance, inspection and testing.

The department is currently developing a range of guidance material to help the NSW mining industry address human factors issues. In the meantime, information can be found on the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

The department recommends that mine operators, PCBUs and other duty holders at mines and petroleum sites consider the human and organisational factors information published by the HSE when managing risks and investigating incidents.

Human factors case study

The aim of the case studies is to provide a snapshot of NSW mining incidents and or fatalities in the context of human and organisational factors.

For a detailed copy of the investigation report please click on the following links: