Health - BHP Billiton

Brief description
In alignment with Our BHP Billiton Charter, we efficiently identify and manage acute
and chronic health hazards in the workplace and factors that may impact fitness for
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Please note: Authorisations are internal approval thresholds commensurate to the level of risk.
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1. Health risk management
Workplace illness is prevented by efficiently managing health hazards and health status for employees and
Identification and assessment
Identify health hazards which have the potential to cause illness and injury.
Establish the exposure risk profile for harmful agents by performing risk-based qualitative (based on documented underlying
assumptions and analysis) and/or quantitative exposure assessments using the Appendix 1 methodology and taking into
consideration extended work shifts, work rosters and combined exposures.
Assess health hazard risk and exposure to harmful agents using the occupational exposure limits (OELs), biological monitoring
(Appendix 1) and other relevant standards where applicable.
Report the exposure assessment results to relevant stakeholders (including workers and line managers).
Review the exposure risk profile to validate exposure levels and to account for process changes.
Exposure control
Evaluate and implement exposure controls in project design and equipment selection.
Prioritise exposure controls on the basis of potential health consequences, number of people exposed and magnitude of exposure
Implement elimination, substitution, isolation or engineering exposure controls, supplemented by administrative controls (where
required) to meet BHP Billiton public health targets.
Implement exposure controls consistent with the methodology in Appendix 1 for carcinogenic agents with uncertain dose response
where exposure exceeds or is anticipated to exceed 50 per cent of the OEL.
Implement exposure controls in accordance with the hierarchy of controls (elimination, substitution, isolation, engineering,
administrative, personal protective equipment (PPE)) where exposure exceeds or is anticipated to exceed the OEL or based on risk
assessment for hazards where an OEL does not apply.
− Implement PPE programs according to a recognised standard and perform personal fit testing for respiratory protective equipment
and for hearing protection devices.
Maintain, monitor and verify the effectiveness of exposure controls.
Medical surveillance
Identify potential illness at an early stage through the implementation of a baseline and periodic medical surveillance process that is
consistent with the exposure risk profile when exposure exceeds 50 per cent of an OEL, or when the OEL is exceeded for thresholdbased exposure limits.
Report the results of medical surveillance to relevant stakeholders (including workers and line managers), managing medical
information/records in accordance with applicable legislative requirements.
2. Fitness for work
Incident, illness and injury risk is minimised by managing the factors that impact the ability of employees and
contractors to perform their work.
Medical assessment
Identify roles which require medical assessment based on risk, taking into consideration the work to be performed and the work
Determine the frequency of assessment based on the likelihood of change in health status that may impact a worker's ability to
undertake such roles.
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2. Fitness for work continued
Implement an evidence-based medical assessment process specific to the roles identified that indicates whether a worker is fit, fit
subject to work modifications, or unable to meet inherent requirements of the role, managing medical information/records in
accordance with applicable legislative requirements.
Fatigue, Drugs and Alcohol
Develop and implement a fatigue management plan that is consistent with relevant industry standards and includes controls to
address identified causes of fatigue and prevent/mitigate associated risks.
Maintain and monitor the effectiveness of the fatigue management plan using the Appendix 1 methodology specific to the causes
and controls.
Implement a risk-based drug and alcohol program that includes controls to address potential impairment and prevent/mitigate
associated risks.
3. Case management
Work-related injury or illness is managed to minimise its long-term impact on employees and contractors.
Facilitate medical treatment for work-related injury or illness and, where necessary, a rehabilitation program based on medical
Optimise return to work outcomes through early reintegration into the workplace, and back to the pre-injury role, to the extent
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Appendix 1. Methods of analysis and exposure assessment
Methodology that is consistent with:
Aerosol sampling
ISO TR 7708:1995 Air quality - Particle size fraction definitions for health-related sampling.
UK Health & Safety Executive, Health and Safety Laboratory MDHS 14/3: General methods for
sampling and gravimetric analysis of respirable and inhalable dust.
ISO 10882-1 Second edition 2011-1—01: Health and safety in welding and allied processes –
Sampling of airborne particles and gases in the operator’s breathing zone – Part 1 Sampling of
airborne particles.
Biological monitoring
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists ‘Introduction to the Biological
Exposure Indices © (BEI)’ and use either ACGIH Biological Exposure Indices © or other recognised
Chemical analysis of samples
US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Manual of Analytical Methods.
UK Health and Safety Executive, Methods for the Determination of Hazardous Substances.
US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Sampling and Analytical methods.
ISO 15202 series, Workplace air – Determination of metals and metalloids in airborne particulate
matter by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry.
Comparing exposure to OELs
Chronic agents: If the exposure is log-normally distributed, use Land’s 95 per cent upper
confidence limit (UCL) of the arithmetic mean estimate. If the exposure is not log-normally
distributed but is normally distributed, use the 95 per cent UCL of the arithmetic mean exposure.
Acute agents: Use the 95th percentile of the exposure distribution.
Diesel particulate
Government of Western Australia, Management of diesel emissions in Western Australian mining
Exposure assessment and
Sections I and II of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s ‘A Strategy for Assessing and
Managing Occupational Exposures’ 3rd Edition.
Fatigue management
Performance indicators for fatigue risk management systems: Guidance document for the oil and
gas industry. IPIECA 2012.
Heat Stress
Thermal Work Limit (TWL) or alternate recognised methodology where a risk assessment has
identified that an equivalent or better level of protection for workers than that provided by TWL.
For TWL, see Brake and Bates, Limiting Metabolic Rate (Thermal Work Limit) as an Index of
Thermal Stress, Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Volume 17(3): 176–186, 2002.
Infectious disease
International SOS or other recognised authority to assess infectious disease risk.
Ionising radiation
International Atomic Energy Agency. Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources:
International Basic Safety Standards - Interim Edition General Safety Requirements Part 3. IAEA
Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 3 (Interim), 2011, English (issued 21/11/2011).
Calculation of the A-weighted noise exposure level normalised to an eight-hour working day daily
noise exposure level as defined in Section 3.2 of ISO 9612:2009 Acoustics - Determination of
occupational noise exposure - Engineering method.
UV Radiation
UV index.
Directive 2002/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 on the
minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising
from physical agents (vibration).
HSE vibration calculator: Hand-arm vibration calculator, Whole body vibration calculator.
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