Open Cut

Selection and Optimisation of Risk Controls

Open Cut » Health and Safety

Published: June 15Project Number: C23007

Get ReportAuthor: Maureen Hassall, Jim Joy, Chris Doran & Marcus Punch | University of Queensland, Jim Joy & Associates, Mitacom & Marcus Punch Pty Ltd

The Australian coal mining industry recognises it is important to have effective controls to successfully manage risks. The importance of improving risk control has also been highlighted by the ICMM who suggest that "the top factors for why fatalities, serious injuries, serious diseases and high potential incidents occur are due to people not properly identifying risks, controls not being in place, or the controls not being effectively implemented or maintained. (ICMM 2013 Requests for proposals - Health and safety risk managing in the mining and metals sector)


ACARP has had a long history of investing in research focused on developing better approaches to risk control. Examples include ACARP project C20003 and its extensions Research and development of a RISKGATE resources system (Kirsh et al, 2011-2015), ACARP project 15011 Ext C26202 Acceptable Risk: A Matter of Establishing Adequate Control (Joy J and Kizil G, 2009), ACARP project C17014 Development of Risk-Cost-Benefit (RCB) Decision Support Tools, RCBGEN & RCEMETHOD with Practical Applications to Coal Mining High-Risk Areas (Kizil G V, Bye A & Joy J, 2012), and ACARP project C18021 Quantitative data assessment to support risk-based decision-making in the minerals industry (Yilmaz G V, 2014).


This study builds on the previously funded research to define practical 'Control Selection and Optimisation' methods for achieving tolerable risk at sites based on measured control effectiveness. The aim is to provide methods that help people proactively and objectively select potentially effective controls for addressing site based risks and to measure the effectiveness of the controls.


The approach used to develop practical methods for selecting and optimising risk controls was a cooperative research process. It involved conducting three workshops within which representatives from coal mining companies along with industry risk experts worked together to identify and refine best practice approaches to managing risk controls. In this document we describe the best practice approached identified for selecting and optimising risk controls. The recommended approach is based on 1) developing quality bowties, 2) assessing the effectiveness of controls and 3) using bowtie and control effectiveness information to improve the selection, optimisation and management of risk controls.


This document is a research report on the work done to develop practical methods for selecting and optimising risk controls. However, to help site and local corporate practitioners implement the findings, section 4 has been written as a stand-alone instructional manual on how to improve risk control selection and optimisation. The document concludes with a discussion on the research process, potential implications of work done and recommendations.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C28026Measuring The Height Of Fracturing Above Extracted Longwall Panels To Improve Reliability Of Groundwater Impact Predictions

Longwall mining is a mining method widely used in the Australian und...

C25059Development Of An Intrinsically Safe, Integrated Wireless Communications Network With A Distributed Array Of Geotechnical Sensors

For over 20 years, SCT Operations (SCT) have provided a range of ind...

C26051An On-Machine Bolting And Geotechnical Monitoring System

The primary objective of this project was to investigate how laser s...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

C29003Wear Debris Removal From Dragline Commutators

The original aim of this project was to establish a method of removi...

C28037Local Scale Dispersion Modelling To Support ACARP Emission Factors

There remains significant concern in the industry regarding the accu...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27032Coal Grain Analysis Applications Handbook

This Handbook sets out recommended practices for using coal grain an...

C26012Improved Flotation Recovery Via Controlling Froth Behaviour

There is no real-time measurement for coal flotation performance, ma...

C27012Towards Better Fine Coal Classification

It is well recognised that the efficient classification of fine coal...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

C27008Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids

The connection of a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement plant di...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook