Mining Industry Safety Leadership Group meeting minutes - 24 January 2012

UK Coal Headquarters, Harworth, Doncaster


  • BACM
    Mr P Carragher
  • British Gypsum
    Dr P Holmes
  • CPL
    Mr P Baines (Chairman)
    Mr S Hunter
  • HSE
    Mr S P Wing
    Mr N P Hill (Secretary)
    Mr T Fox
  • NUM
    Mr N Rowson
  • Maltby
    Mr P Wilson
    Mr G Huitson
  • UK Coal
    Mr G Williams
  • Winsford
    Mr G Dunn


    Mr R Soar
  • NUM
    Mr C Kitchen
  • UK Coal
    Mr G Williams
  • Unite
    Mr T Bush

1. Introduction

Mr Baines welcomed members to the meeting and thanked UK Coal for hosting the event. 

He gave a resume of work undertaken from the cessation of the former Mining Industry Committee, development of the Mining Industry Strategy document and the formation of the Mining Industry Safety Leadership Group (MISLG). 

The first 4 meetings of the group had agreed membership, terms of reference and considered key elements of the strategy.  Working Groups and Sub Committees associated with the group have been reviewed and new groups for mining engineering and addressing vehicle and conveyor fires had been formed to identify major hazards and engender improvements in health and safety in the industry.

The MISLG had received presentations from operators addressing their key safety strategies and had ratified the concept of competence presented by British Gypsum.

2. Minutes of last meeting

2.1 The omission of agenda item 6 was noted.

2.2 (item 8.2 of previous minutes)

The "bow-tie" presentation would be given to the Mining Engineering Working Group.

3. Matters arising

3.1 (item 3.1 of previous minutes)

Mr Hoult reported that no further contact had been received from Coalpro regarding small mines representation.  Unity and Aberpergwm Mines had been invited to attend the Group; no response had been received to date.

Membership would be pursued at both mines through normal HSE contact.

Mines Rescue Service Ltd (MRSL) representation would be discussed at agenda item 6.

3.2 (item 5 of previous minutes)

The report on Working Groups had been prepared and circulated and would be addressed by agenda item 5.

4. Parameters for measurement of safe working practices

Mr Baines reviewed recent accidents occurring at Cleveland Potash Limited (CPL) and the Manager's Rules, working instructions and manager/supervisor interaction with personnel and their possible influence on events and outcomes.  He said that cultural relationships within the industry may require review to engender greater emphasis on safe working practices and noted the Emotional Quotient Index (EQI) exercise undertaken at CPL in an attempt to improve leadership skills and competence of both management and workforce.

Mr Baines outlined the EQI process deploying an on-line questionnaire to identify individual behaviours.  This was particularly valuable in matching new recruits with specific tasks/posts and developing the strengths of existing personnel prior to a change of role or promotion and to aid succession planning.

Mr Hunter presented data for lost time accidents, underground and surface, at CPL during 2011 noting the severity in numbers overall of days lost.

Comparisons with audits and accidents per head, underground, surface and at the dock, were illustrated identifying the greater numbers of audits at the dock appeared to have a direct affect on the low numbers of accidents occurring.  EQI competency's group scores underground – low, surface – low to medium and dock – high ratified this concept.

Further work within the management structures would be continued to achieve consistency throughout CPL.

Mr Huitson said a similar process undertaken within the Hargreaves Group risk-ranked individuals; he agreed to clarify the methodology used.

Action:  Mr Huitson

The use of safety climate surveys to canvas the views and perceptions of the management and workforce was discussed and it was noted that convergence of opinion across and between teams seemed to identify a greater overall understanding, and improvements in, major hazard risk management and the safety culture.

Mr Hoult reported that UK Coal would shortly review the principles applied to inspection techniques and the risk management processes by retraining all levels of management. 

The plethora of documents, codes and rules etc was identified and the difficulty in reviewing these, largely due to the vast numbers involved, noted.

The merits of undertaking psychometric testing of new and existing personnel and the effect that supplementary coaching may have on individuals behaviours was discussed and Mr Baines agreed to circulate details of the EQI process implemented at CPL to inform.

Action:  Mr Hunter

Mr Dunn noted inherent behaviours present within the workplace and the difficulties in implementing cultural changes.  He said a review of all Manager's Rules was ongoing at Salt Union to ensure their pertinence and continued relevance to current working practices.  The programme of safety audits, staff participation meetings, climate surveys etc, was identified.

Mr Baines asked members to present each company's annual safety plans to the next meeting and proposed the HMIM's audit plans during routine visits to ratify progress.

Action:  Members

Members were also asked to develop a realistic, achievable plan to deliver elements of the strategy with a view to committing to a programme for delivery at the next meeting.

Action: Members

Mr Hoult presented a principle for the plan to capture progress towards delivering elements of the strategy; this would be further refined and circulated to the group for comments.

Action:  Mr Hunter

5. Structure of future MISLG Sub and Working Groups

The summary of HSE-chaired working groups was discussed.

Engineering Liaison – to continue as an MISLG sub committee chaired by HSE.  Remit to be amended accordingly.  Messrs Hoult and Huitson were asked to consider providing a future Chairman for the group. 

Action:  Messrs Hoult & Huitson

NTLC SMIM – to continue as a sub committee of the Engineering Liaison Committee with remit amended accordingly

SHMRAB – future to be considered further in conjunction with Mr P Foster, Camborne School of Mines.  Research would form an agenda item at the next meeting.

Action:  Mr Hill

PRS Guidance – due to finish shortly.

MQC – work to continue, a link to academia and the IMMM would be considered further at a later meeting.

6. Any other business

6.1 Rockbolting guidance

Mr Hoult proposed that a working group be formed to revisit and update rockbolting guidance and agreed to develop a draft remit.

Action: Mr Hoult

6.2 Legislative review

Mr Carragher expressed concern about the proposals contained on the Government website detailing the generic legislation review and asked HSE to ensure safety related mining provisions were retained during the process.  Mr Wing reported that the mining legislation review process was now recommencing.  The first stage would be completed by the end of March 2012 and would be followed by a wider consultation process.

It was proposed that new legislative packages would be prepared by 2014, however the content and structure of these was unclear at the present time.

6.3 MRSL

It was proposed that MRSL be approached to provide the group with information relating to escape and rescue matters as required.

7. Date, place and time of next meetings

8. Close

Mr Baines closed the meeting and thanked members for their attendance and contributions.