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Mining Man
Determined to create great leaders in the mining industry.
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Our Mining Financial Basics series brings you everything you've ever needed to know about the common financial concepts and terms used in the mining industry. Continue reading
Hi Pete, Interesting question, and might be difficult to find data on. PPE is mostly used as a line of defence once an incident has already occured. Many companies track near misses where PPE might have saved someone from injury when an incident has occured, but they normal focus their efforts on investigation what caused the incident rather than what was the last line of defence which prevented the injury. Here I'm thinking of things like safety glasses and gloves. For things like dust masks, hearing protection, or welding goggles, these would definitely be helping to prevent injuries, particularly in the long term. It might be difficult to exactly pin point their contribution to injury reduction though, given there have been other improvements in work practices and equipment over time which would have contributed as well. The best place to ask would probably be PPE suppliers - they're the most likely to have done research on the benefits of their particular products. Cheers, Jamie
Hi Beau, You would try to calculate the payback period for the new investment alone. So you'd work out how much you were going to spend, and how much extra revenue or less cost you were going to get from that spending. This would tell you the payback period for that particular investment. Technically, the payback period for the initial investment hasn't changed, you'll still get the money back for it in the time you expected, but you might now have to wait longer to get your money back for the new investment. Remember that we really only use payback period as a measure for each investment we make. It's a decision making tool for each investment at a time, and we don't really track it once the investment is made. Cheers, Jamie (Mining Man)
Hi Armando, Accrual and provision are pretty closely the same, and an operational manager can more or less take them to be the same thing. A provision is an accounting expense entered into a month to account for expenses that the business INCURRED in the month but didn't actually pay for. (Same as accruals). Accruals are normally used for direct cost items like purchases, whereas provisions tend to relate to intangible items like bad debt or annual leave. For example a business has to make provision each month for the amount of annual leave it owes its employees. Good point - thanks for asking! - Jamie
In the final part of our Mining Financial Basics series, we briefly cover ten common financial terms you might hear around the mine site. Continue reading
Inspecting, testing or commissioning live equipment is an unavoidable high risk activity. This week's safety topic looks at the controls which should be in place for safe live testing. Continue reading
From the AJM: In a media conference this morning, Gillard threw open the “doors of Government” and welcomed the mining industry to “open its mind”. She said there was an emerging consensus that Australians sought a greater share of wealth from natural resources, and that mining companies can pay more. Gillard said she would take steps to remove Government advertising regarding the RSPT and issued a challenge to the mining industry to do the same. “I’m making an offer of goodwill today,” she said, “…the Deputy Prime Minister will lead a team with Martin Ferguson…the only entry point for these negotiations is that people need to understand that Australians get a fairer share of the mineral wealth in the ground.” Source:
Thanks Mark! Helps being married to an accountant - I've got an in-house technical adviser!!
What does a new Prime Minister of Australia mean for the future of the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax? Will there be changes to the tax under Gillard? Continue reading
Managing accruals is a necessary evil for non-financial people at mining operations. Here's Mining Man's simple explanation of what accruals are (with some examples), and what our role is in the accruals process. Continue reading
A great little video which uses the way children naturally lift and carry objects to demonstrate safe manual handling techniques. Continue reading
Finally a set of television commericals is capturing the spirit of the Australian mining industry and the people who make it what it is. Continue reading
Last night I saw a vision of the future of mining - automated trucks, shovels and drill rigs communicating with each other to operate the mine. The great thing is this vision is almost a reality... Continue reading
Very good points and thoughts Oliver, thanks for commenting. I like your thinking about those entering the industry without industry or site specific experience, but with a lot of general experience. Our natural tendency will be to think of these people as being much lower risk compared to the 20 year old new-starter. And while definitely general experience will help in hazard awareness, it could also bring bad habits and complacency with it.
Pat, we've had similar success with "greenskin" training programs for people totally new to the industry. Sometimes the results can be undermined though when these new starters arrive in their crews to find things are not the ideal safety world they'd been told about in their training, and that it's sometimes harder to put your hand up to stop a job than what they might have thought! I've also worked at a company which opened a new mine and deliberately tried to avoid hiring more experienced workers who they considered might bring bad habits to the new safety culture they were starting. It worked quite well in one respect, safety system compliance was very high, but after 2 years the injury performance deteriorated significantly, including some serious injuries. I sensed at the mine that these guys who were brought in new and trained very well in safety now also felt like they had a good handle on mining hazards, but perhaps still lacked enough experience of things that can go wrong. The older guys may have been able to help informally educate the newer workers with horror stories on how things can go wrong, had there been a bigger critical mass of experience.
No problem Charles, thanks for your comment! - Jamie
Manual handling tasks are the focus of Mining Man's weekly safety discussion this week. We look at good manual handling practices, and how to work them into your safe work observations. Continue reading
This week's safety topic from Mining Man is focusing on the hazards of using compressed air and pneumatic tools. We discuss how to do a safety observation focussed on this topic. Continue reading
Thanks for the link Pat - interesting article about how annual performance reviews could be made redundant if they were effectively replaced by meaningful, continual feedback to our teams. Cheers.
One of the most difficult but essential parts of a leader’s job is giving corrective feedback. Here’s Mining Man’s Six Tips to make the process easier and more effective. Continue reading
Thanks for the comments everyone! Mirek - Thanks for the positive words. You're right, it would be interesting to see these same types of figures from other countries. I will see what I can track down. Peter - Unfortunately I don't have the raw data, but if I did there would be lots of correlations to look for. Age and job experience together would definitely be one to look at. It's an interesting concept you've brought up there - "grinding in" of safety concepts and behaviours versus safer work coming with experience on the job. Leith - Very good point about the number of people performing tasks for more than five years and even staying on the same site for more than five years. I think the key thing we're missing in all this data is the percentage breakdown of the entire workforce into these same categories (i.e. what percentage of the workforce have been in site less than five year, and how does this compare to the percentage of fatalities in that band). Thanks again everyone, great to hear your points of view and ideas! Jamie
Thanks for the comments Chris. I've updated the post now and added the age graphs in at the end. You'll see the graphs show that the majority of fatalities are in the 40s to 50s age range. I think this reflects the spread of ages in the industry rather than I higher risk factor in these age groups. The data we need (which wasn't in the presentation) is relative percentage of fatalities in each age group relative to the percentage of people in each age group in the industry. (i.e. if in coal the 20s only make up 5% of the industry but account for 17% of fatalities, then this would be an important statistic!). Thanks, Jamie
A review of the 2009 Mining Industry Fatalities data from MSHA has revealed some remarkable insights, and three critical lessons for everyone in the industry. Continue reading
Part 9 of Mining Man's "Mining Financial Basics" series looks at two very common terms in the mining industry - Budget and Forecast. We discuss their importance, and their differences. Continue reading
Here's a list of Mining Man's most popular Safety Topics from the past few months. No new weekly topic this week while our new web site in being commissioned!! Continue reading