Activity-based risk management for the acquisition of electronic mine safety equipment

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 12
  • Abstract:

    A new approach is proposed to perform relativistic comparisons between alternative operational risk management solutions by taking into account the impact of each operational activity on overall system performance. A specific case study, to which this new approach is applied, involves the deployment of safety systems in underground mining operations. Conflicting objectives to be satisfied are the minimization of risk to human lives and the minimization of production losses. As the focus in this case is primarily on the mitigation of risk, the approach that was applied is referred to as activity-based risk (ABR) analysis. Existing development process and risk management methods used in the South African mining environment were analysed by means of observations, a case study, technical documentation, and literature review. It was evident from this analysis that a discontinuity existed between the acquisition and operational phases in terms of the management of safety risk in the acquisition of electronic safety equipment when viewed from a full lifecycle perspective. This discontinuity could be addressed by defining a risk perspective in the system development phase by employing ABR in the preliminary design phase of a system’s engineering life-cycle. The focus of the ABR system development process is to find the functional definition and configuration of safety equipment that addresses both safety and productivity when taking into account human performance variability. In doing so, a balance between productivity and safety is found in a relativistic sense