Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Nugent, G, Devlin, S, Grieves, J, Cliff, D and Brady, D, Mines rescue guidelines : the next generation, in Aziz, N (ed), 10th Underground Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2010, 288-298.


The procedures under which the coal mining industry based mines rescue organisations for Queensland and New South Wales operate have been developed over many years of challenging training, exercises, rescues, recoveries and, sadly, fatalities. The New South Wales Mines Rescue Service and the Queensland Mines Rescue Service are working together to underpin their operating procedures and guidelines with risk management logic while taking heed of lessons from the past. The initial focus for this undertaking is a crucial aspect of mines rescue operations: the emergency mine entry and re-entry. A three-phase process is being used for the development of new guidelines for emergency mine entry and re-entry to facilitate integration with operations’ emergency response systems and day-to-day operations. The first phase is the assessment of risks and determination of appropriate controls for Rescue Services effecting a mine entry or re-entry. The second phase is the conversion of the risk assessment into the practical guidelines ("Emergency Mine Entry and Re-entry Guidelines"), capturing the necessary controls identified in the risk assessment. The third phase is converting the guidelines into systems that mining operations and mines rescue organisations alike, together with other key industry stakeholders (the Inspectorate, Industry Safety and Health Representatives, Industry Check Inspectors etc), can use for effecting mine entry or mine re-entry responses. A particular emphasis in this third phase is the collection and analysis of information in a timely manner and appropriate format to support decision makers, technical support and crews effecting responses. While these efforts focus on the mines rescue organisation provided services and emergency responses, it is clear there are benefits for operations in having systems ready to support the Emergency Mine Entry and Re-entry Guidelines, as there are significant overlaps between information required for most types of emergency responses involving mines rescue organisations and the information operations require in managing their principal hazards.