Well not exactly sure what to make of this? December 31 has come and gone, submissions for 2014 should be well done and dusted by now yet not 1 comment or thought from almost 300 views! Must be all from outside Qld
As you are aware, submission of paper copies only to the department has got us to the stage we are now, that is, they have either been lost, thrown out, or no one knows where they are.
In my situation, by liaising with the department and site senior executives, "hard copy" has been accepted as being a pdf version of the data that would have been presented previously in paper form.
Including these files with the 3 dimensional captured data when presented to the department at least allows them to be easily stored and read by anyone. All information is on 1 signed CD for each submission. Some software allows for all plans to be contained in the 1 file.
I have received correspondence from the department that they can read the files submitted. You can actually see the relief on the faces of departmental staff when you go in to submit yearly plans, and they realise they don’t have to deal with a roll of paper plans, which vary in number from 12 to 80!
At the end of the day, my feeling is that it is not the letter of the law we have to follow; it is what will remain and be stored by the department, allowing others to actually find information from surrounding or abandoned mines.
If I am wrong, please correct me.
From what I have observed/witnessed in recent times Recognised Standard 10 has changed the meaning and means by which plans have been submitted even though in the past many years prior to standard 10 digital submission as PDF's etc were allowed/accepted under the then legislation by the department and inspectorate even though it was not specifically written in the act.
Recognised Standard 10 comes with some very explicit wording and from understanding the inspectorate may now have their hands tied regardless of what they think?
Section 4.9 - Supply of Mine Workings Plan (Rec Standard 10) states "The Digital file and hard copy shall be submitted to the Chief Inspector by 31 December each year". There are also multiple instances that follow in this section explicitly referring to " .... Digital file and hardcopy ...." with the key word linking the two being "AND".
Now being a Standard made under section 37(3) of the act the inspectorate as well as Mine Surveyors now have to deal with S37(3) which states
37. How obligation can be discharged if regulation or recognised standard made
(3) … if a recognised standard states a way or ways of achieving an acceptable level of risk, a person
discharges the person’s safety and health obligation in relation to the risk only by—
(a) adopting and following a stated way
(b) adopting and following another way that achieves a level of risk that is equal to or better than the
So the recognised Standard clearly states a way to achieve an acceptable level of risk (regardless if we think it is a good or bad thing) and by adopting and following a stated way then a person is deemed to have discharged their obligations.
So my question is what other way can be adopted in this particular case in not providing the Hard Copy plans (as opposed to the digital versions) that achieves the level of risk that is equal to or better than the acceptable stated level?
What other way is there? From all accounts the inspectorate doesn't have leeway to exempt as the onus under S37(3)b sits squarely with the Mine Surveyor and the SSE to meet or exceed the stated requirements.
Last edit: 4 years 2 months ago by Kerry Matthews.
I supplied PDF copies of the plans (both surface and underground) to the inspectorate and kept a hard copy of both sets (signed and endorsed) at the mine site. I wrote a letter with the submission detailing that a signed version of the plan was available for review if they so desired. As this letter also became a note in the mine record, along with accompanying plans, this is now a legal document required to be kept indefinitely by the mine (7 years). It is therefore required by the SSE to ensure that these records remain intact for this time and made available to the inspectorate if requested.....
I think i got it right in my head...
But anyway that's my take on it.
One other thing how many mines provide a copy of their mine plans on transparent film, as required under the act???