Simulating crisis situations puts emergency crews on the front foot should real life events occur. At MMG it embeds a safety-first company culture. The Rosebery mine’s emergency response skills were recently put to the test together with TasFire Service, Tasmania Police and Tasmania Health Services, overseen by Ironside Risk.
The ‘mock emergency’ was based on sodium cyanide, a chemical used in on-site gold production. A large forklift, carrying scaffold, simulated travelling too fast down a steep driveway. Unable to stop, it made contact with a small forklift, carrying sodium cyanide. The impact threw the small forklift operator, who was donned in the correct PPE for the task, out of the forklift and onto the ground, causing a head injury. The box of sodium cyanide, which was being transported to the cyanide mixing shed, was punctured and briquettes of cyanide spilt into a puddle, producing hydrogen cyanide (HCN). The large forklift operator exited their forklift and ran to see if the casualty was injured. Without realising, they were overcome by HCN and became a casualty too.
The response effort was promptly mobilised with the mock emergency then ‘called in’ to Site Entry Admin and Control. Six Rosebery Emergency Response Team crew and 10 Emergency Management Team members joined with two Tasmanian Fire Service representatives and one Tasmanian Health representative to activate the response.
The exercise took about three hours and was followed by a debrief. Ironside Risk will issue a further report to assist with continuous improvement and to anticipate how to respond to potential on-site events.