The challenge for Nilesh Karan, Acting Principal Technical Officer Mining Division, Mineral Resources Department, Fiji, was to improve accident investigation and reporting in Fiji. Previously, there were no documented procedures and checklists for attending an accident investigation site at a mine, and poor and untimely preparation of accident reports was a problem. Since completing the IM4DC Occupational Health & Safety Leadership, Nilesh has drafted recommendations for better accident investigation and is currently working on a checklist best suited to such investigations.
Some of the concepts learned from this course were very informative. Firstly, what the investigators should be looking for while undertaking such investigation and what external considerations they should be mindful of which might impact on the outcome of the accident investigation.
Secondly, the exchange of information amongst participations was very informative, as they came from a different way of life and from different scales of the resource sector.
Thirdly, the discussion pertaining to different levels of intervention for different situations throws light on what strategic options need to be adopted to deal with specific situations and what alternatives could be used to achieve the objective of an investigation.
Nilesh produced a ‘Return to work plan’ which gave officers of the Fiji Mineral Resources Department some background on good practice in investigations and led to the recommendation from senior officers for preparation of a Standard Operating Procedure for accident investigation. The involvement of stakeholders, such as engineering experts and officers from other units within the Government’s mining division has enhanced the development of documentation and increased interest in better procedures. Nilesh believes training of mine workers and the opportunity to attend real investigations will consolidate the benefits gained from the IM4DC course.