FAQs on structure of site operations in the Safety Regulation System

On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws. For information visit www.demirs.wa.gov.au/whs

Transitional arrangements may be in place for the compliance requirements on this page.

All health and safety notifications, forms and guidance for mining and petroleum has moved to the WorkSafe website

The information below has been left for historical compliance reference purposes



Why is the structure in place?

These changes give the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) the ability to analyse information across all mining operations, comparing information in a ‘like-for-like’ manner. For example:

  • trends across operation types, locality and commodity
  • which operation types lodge the majority of injuries or incidents
  • how various operation types compare regionally

How are the site operations structured?

Combined operation (CO) – represents the overall mining operation. Can consist of one, or more, site operations (SGs):

  • Site operation (SG) – reflects the major operation type(s) of the CO. There are six operation types – open pit, underground, processing, port, construction and services
    • Site part (S) – represents the major entities that make up each SG.  For example, at a processing SG the major entities may be the processing plant itself, any associated tailing storage facilities and loading facilities.

What does this mean for users?

The majority of mining operations (approximately 80%) exist as a single site operation.

Approximately 20% of mining operations, for example, a larger mine, where there are significant underground, open pit and processing facilities will have multiple SG's in a single CO to reflect the size and complexity of the mines.

How does this impact the recording of worker hours?

Hours worked are reported at an individual site operation (SG) level.

For mining operations with multiple site operations (SGs) the principal employer will be required to report their hours for each site operation. For example, a mining operation with two SGs – one for the open pit and a second for the processing plant – should report hours spent on pit-related activities against the open pit’s SG, and the others against the processing plant’s SG.

Where should contractor hours be lodged?

Where there are multiple site operations (SGs), contractor hours need to be reported against the relevant site operation. In circumstances where people work across multiple site operations (e.g. maintenance contractors) those hours may be apportioned across the relevant site operations.

How should support services be reported?

Where there are multiple site operations (SGs), support services hours (e.g. engineering, technical, administration, human resources, commercial and supply) need to be reported against the relevant site operation. In circumstances where services are provided across multiple site operations those hours may be apportioned across the relevant site operations.

Where should exploration activities be lodged?

Exploration activities under the control of a registered manager for a site operation should be reported under the relevant site operation (SG).

All other exploration activities should be reported against the exploration company.

How does this relate to the lodgement of notifications?

Notifications (e.g. accident and incident reporting, statutory appointments) need to be lodged against the site operation (SG) to which they relate.  For instance at a mining operation with more than one SG if there is an incident or injury at the open pit, then the injury should be reported against the open pit’s SG.

Can a registered manager be responsible for more than one SG?

Yes, a registered manager (RM) will be responsible for more than one SG when multiple SGs exist within a CO. This will apply where an RM oversees both underground and processing operations for a large mining operation, or oversees operations across multiple quarries.

If the RM needs to be responsible for SGs across multiple COs permission must be granted by the State mining engineer.

Can we have multiple registered managers within a CO?

No, a CO is aligned with the definition of a mine under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act (WA) 1994 and so may only have a single RM.

If a Principal Employer wishes to appoint multiple RMs within a mining operation they can request from the State mining engineer that the mining operation be regarded as multiple mines.

Related information

Please refer to related information below:

For further information on the SRS system is available at Safety Regulation System (SRS)

For further information about combined operations and project management plans see SRS online help

Mines Safety and Inspection Levy - information sheet - 373 Kb

This information sheet outlines the frequently asked questions on the mines safety and inspection levy.