Autonomous safety code a world first

The code of practice was developed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.
Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Western Australia continues to be at the forefront in the development of autonomous mining technology with the State Government’s tick of approval on the world’s first code of practice for safe autonomous mining.

Approved this week by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Marmion, the code of practice for safe autonomous mining will now be gazetted before it is publicly released.

Developed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum through a working group of Western Australian industry experts, the code of practice also had input from technical experts from across the globe.

Director of Mines Safety Andrew Chaplyn said the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) technical committee on mobile autonomous mining systems met in Perth in September last year to discuss global safety standards.

“The forum provided DMP an opportunity to hear from international experts and share our collective knowledge about safety in autonomous mining and this code of practice was a key part of those discussions,” he said.

The Minister said the document was another example of WA’s global leadership in this field.

“Western Australia is at the forefront in the use of this technology, so it makes sense that we also play a leading role in developing safety guidance,” Mr Marmion said.

The code of practice, which took 18 months to develop, will help companies safely introduce and manage autonomous mobile mining systems in their operations.

Mr Chaplyn said that as for any operation in the resources industry, there is an expectation that the risks will be understood and minimised to ensure workers are protected.

The working group included representatives from equipment manufacturers, mining companies, technology experts, as well as the regulator and the Code of Practice has been endorsed by the Mining Industry Advisory Committee.

The code of practice was developed as autonomous mining systems are not specifically covered in the Mine Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and its associated regulations.

World’s first code of practice for safe autonomous mining approved for release.