From the top down, safety needs to be a priority at all mines – including opencast and alluvial mines and quarries. We have produced guidance to address the risks and hazards specific to this type of mining and extraction work.

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Health and safety at opencast mines, alluvial mines, and quarries

This guide gives practical advice on health and safety measures at opencast mines, alluvial mines, and quarries.

In the Health and Safety at Opencast Mines, Alluvial Mines and Quarries good practice guidelines (the Guidelines), we have changed our view on what good practice looks like in section 9.4, Floating plant and boats.

We no longer consider it to be safe to use excavator buckets in alluvial mines to transfer people over a short distance to floating processing platforms. Excavator buckets also should not be used as a way to gain access to platforms.

The practice of using an excavator bucket to transfer people or to access floating platforms should be stopped immediately.

Do a risk assessment to identify a reasonably practicable method of access. For example, using a drawbridge or moving the floating platform to the shore.

We are currently reviewing the Guidelines to align with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, its regulations and updated good practices. We will be seeking feedback from industry on the upcoming proposed changes in due course.

Health and safety at opencast mines, alluvial mines and quarries (PDF 12 MB)

Health and safety quarry essentials pocket guide

This guide is taken primarily from the main health and safety at opencast mines, alluvial mines, and quarries guidelines, and focuses on managing risks at quarries for operators, managers, and workers.

Quarry essentials pocket guide (PDF 2.5 MB)