Sie sind auf Seite 1von 52

Good practice guidance

on occupational health
risk assessment
second edition
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 1


Executive summary
1. Introduction
1.1 Purpose of the guide
1.2 Occupational health impacts of mining and metals
1.3 Occupational health risk assessment

2. Identification of issues
2.1 Identifying health hazards
2.2 Identifying exposed workers
2.3 Identifying potentially hazardous processes, tasks and areas

3. Assessment
3.1 Assessing exposure levels
3.2 Risk rating
3.3 Deciding health risk acceptability
3.4 Identifying and managing effective controls
3.5 The bow-tie analysis – putting it all together

4. Analysis and reporting

4.1 Documenting and communicating HRA
4.2 Review and quality assurance of the HRA
4.3 Links between HRA and health impact assessment (HIA)
Sources of further information
2 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Executive summary
Healthy workers are essential to the success of mining and metals companies,
and ICMM company members are driven in their protection of the health and
well-being of both workers and local communities by ICMM’s Sustainable
Development Principle 5: ‘Pursue continual improvement in health and safety
performance with the ultimate goal of zero harm.’

Workforce protection should be This guide identifies the occupational Where possible, alignment has also
seen in the context of a vision health impacts of mining and metals been attempted with the ISO 45001
of ‘zero harm’ – ensuring that a processing, outlines good practices international standard ‘Occupational
workplace culture is embraced that in the identification of hazards and health and safety management
recognises occupational illnesses exposed workers, assists practitioners systems – requirements with guidance
are preventable, ensures repeat in estimating exposure levels and for use’. This was in draft at the time
occurrences of occupational disease assessing the effectiveness of controls of review but it is not anticipated that
do not occur, and promotes the setting and explains the importance of quality major changes will take place in the
and implementing of a consistent set analysis and reporting. final version. Many organisations
of standards to prevent occupational may be aligning their internal
illness. ICMM has defined an MUE as an documentation with this standard in
unwanted event where the potential or time, and some of the terminology in
In 2009 ICMM developed the Good real consequence exceeds a threshold the new ISO standard has changed.
practice guidance on occupational defined by the company as warranting The main change has been the
health risk assessment to help site the highest level of attention (eg a alignment of terms between health
practitioners assess and address the high-level health or safety impact). and safety and the environmental
risks posed by hazards in the mining A critical control is a control that is standards in accordance with Annex
and metals sector. It provides those crucial to preventing the event or SL, Appendix 2 of the ISO/IEC
practitioners with the information and mitigating the consequences of the Directives, Part 1, Consolidated ISO
tools they needed to assess the health event. The absence or failure of a Supplement, 2015. However, in the
and well-being of employees and critical control would significantly context of this guidance the changes
contractors. increase the risk despite the existence are not significant.
of the other controls. In addition, a
In 2016 a review was undertaken control that prevents more than one
to bring the text and advice up to unwanted event or mitigates more
date with changes in the field of than one consequence is normally
occupational health risk assessment classified as critical.
and align this document with
the terminology and approaches It is our intention that this publication ‘It is our intention
proposed in ICMM documentation provides a practical tool to assist
published since the first edition, companies in protecting the health
2that this publication
principally the prioritised approach and well-being of their workforce and 2provides a practical tool
to risk management including the it aims to represent good practice 2to assist companies in
identification of material unwanted for companies operating in the 2protecting the health
events (MUEs) and managing those mining and metals sector today.
through the use of critical controls. This document is titled guidance on
2and well-being of their
occupational health risk assessment, 2workforce.’
but since the process of risk
assessment involves assessment of
controls and is an ongoing, continuous
process it necessarily involves
elements of risk management.
4 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

1.1 A key component to the success This moral obligation is increasingly
of health risk management is being embedded within the sector
Purpose of the guide through the adoption of the vision of
the commitment and visible
leadership from senior and executive zero harm (ie zero exposures above
This guide is an information resource
management. occupational exposure levels) and zero
for conducting occupational health
serious illness or fatal events from
risk assessments (HRAs). It is
HRAs within the mining and metals occupation health-related exposures
intended for mining and metals
sector are especially complex within a wider health and well-being
managers and advisers who are
because of the breadth and range of at work policy.
responsible for ensuring the
the mining life cycle, which includes
occupational health and well-
(see Figure 1): This vision encompasses four key
being of employees and third party
• exploration aspects:
contractors. Though the guidance
focuses on the occupational health • design • developing a workplace culture
risks to employees and contractors in across an organisation that
• construction
a mining and metals operation, it is recognises that the prevention of
• operation/extraction long-term serious disease is just as
important to note that these risks
can also affect the wider community • processing important as the prevention of
living around that operation. HRA is • engineering services and serious safety events
an integral part of the process of maintenance • making a consistent and sustained
health risk management and often • closure effort to ensure that there are no
the two may be indistinguishable. repeat occurrences of occupational
• rehabilitation/remediation.
It is important to note that health diseases in any workplace setting of
risk management is not synonymous an organisation
This life cycle also encompasses the
with hazard identification and risk • setting and implementing a simple,
movement of products, equipment
assessment. The latter forms only consistent and non-negotiable set
and personnel by road, rail, air and
part of the more comprehensive of health and safety standards
sea and the associated transportation
management approach. across an organisation that aims to
networks and distribution facilities
(eg ports and warehouses), as well prevent occupation-related illnesses
The aim of occupational HRAs is
as the manufacturing, recycling and • for businesses to identify their
to systematically and proactively
disposal of goods made from the ‘material unwanted health events’
identify health hazards, assess their
metals and minerals extracted from and manage these in accordance
potential risks to health, prioritise
mines. with ICMM’s Health and safety
these, including the identification of
critical control management: good
material unwanted events (MUEs),
There are no specific figures for the practice guide (2015).
and determine appropriate control
international mining and metals
measures (including the identification
sectors but every year, across all
of critical controls to prevent MUEs)
industries around the world, it is
to protect the health and well-being
estimated that there are 2.3 million
of workers. The HRA process is a
deaths from occupational injury and
partnership between occupational
disease with 1.9 million of these due
health advisers, occupational/
to disease.1
industrial hygiene advisers, managers
and operational staff with each –
Workers are an important and valued
depending on the circumstances –
part of the mining and metals sector
using their knowledge, experience and
and that places a moral obligation
skills to support the HRA process.
on the sector, alongside the legal
obligations placed on it, to protect the
health and well-being of its workers.2

1. ‘Global estimates of occupational accidents and work-related illnesses 2014’.

Available at
Occupational%20Accidents%20and%20Work-related%20Illness%202014.pdf (accessed 31 October 2016).

2. See ICMM Sustainable Development Principle 5 –

Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 5

In addition to the cost of occupational Figure 1: The mining and minerals lifecycles3
ill health in terms of preventable
human suffering, which affects
not just workers but their families
and communities, work-related Exploration
illness also directly impacts on
the productivity and bottom line of Rehabilitation
companies in the mining and metals
sector. This is usually through:
• higher presenteeism and
• lower worker morale Construction life cycle Closure
• higher turnover rate
• loss of skilled and experienced
• loss of investment in training and Extraction services and
development maintenance
• difficulties in recruiting new Processing
high-quality workers.

Alongside this, companies in the

sector will also have to bear the costs
• healthcare for the affected workers
• compensation and/or damages to
sick or disabled workers or to the
families of workers that are killed
• higher insurance premiums
Disposal Manufacture
• legal advice Minerals
• regulatory fines life cycle
• damage to premises and equipment
• disputes and protracted negotiations
with trade unions, public authorities Recycling Use
and/or local residents
• loss of reputation
• loss of business
• loss of competitiveness
• in high-profile cases the complete
or partial loss of the licence to

3. Adapted from Stephens, C and Ahern, M (2001). Worker and community health impacts related to mining
operations internationally: a rapid review of the literature. Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development
project, no 25. London: International Institute for Environment and Development, World Business Council for
Sustainable Development and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Available at (accessed 31 October 2016).
6 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Introduction continued

1.2 The physical environment • Allergic contact dermatitis from

epoxy resins used in adhesives
Occupation health impacts of The physical environment where
and the salts of some metals
mining and metals exploration, mining, ore extraction
including nickel and chromium
and processing takes place can cause
(eg in cement).
Introduction health impacts in the following ways:
• Intoxication, through to asphyxiation
• physical injury from accidents
There are a large number of hazards and death, can result from the
involving moving machinery,
in the mining and metals sector that inhalation of some gases and
movement of mining products
can pose a potential risk to health and vapours including the toxic gases
and working with explosives and
well-being. hydrogen sulphide, carbon
detonating devices
monoxide and sulphur dioxide.
This section illustrates the range • musculoskeletal disorders
• Acute pneumonia may result from
of health problems that can occur associated with various work
exposure to blasting fumes.
in relation to the various types of activities, for example where
manual handling is a feature, • Damage to the respiratory system
exposure in mining and metals
repetitive motion is required or from exposure to airborne
workplaces. The list is not exhaustive
whole-body vibration occurs chemicals (dusts, gases,
and the risk profile of any particular
aerosols, mists and fumes), for
worker will depend on the exact • noise-induced hearing loss
example silicosis, coal worker’s
nature of their role and their associated with occupationally
pneumoconiosis and asbestosis
individual exposures. related excessive noise exposure
arising from exposure to
• hand-arm vibration syndrome and crystalline silica, coal dust and
other musculoskeletal asbestos respectively; lung
consequences from hand-arm cancer and mesothelioma from
transmitted vibration exposure to asbestos; and nasal
• skin cancer from working outdoors sinus cancer from exposure to
in direct sunlight nickel subsulphide and acid mists.
• effects from both ionising and Welding is a common process in
non-ionising radiation, for example mining and often performed in
cataracts areas with poor ventilation.
Exposure to welding (metal) fumes
• heat exhaustion, hypothermia and
is known to cause metal fume fever,
various other health effects from
is associated with cancer, and can
exposure to extremes of
cause acute pneumonitis and metal
toxicity such as manganism.
The effects of hazardous substances • Damage to internal organ systems
such as the lung, kidney, liver, bone
‘The mining and Exposure to some of the major
hazardous substances encountered
marrow and brain from the
metals sector, as in the mining and metals sector
absorption of chemicals and metals
through the skin, respiratory and
with all employment can result in a number of important digestive tracts.
sectors, will on health effects. These are listed below
occasions encounter to illustrate the range of potential
cases of ‘stress’ and • Skin disorders (burns, contact
other adverse dermatitis, cancer) from contact
mental health and with a wide range of chemicals
well-being effects including acids, alkalis, solvents,
that are attributable fuels, lubricants and resins.
For example:
to, or contributed
• Irritant contact dermatitis from
to by, occupational some fuels, solvents, lubricating
factors, including oils and greases.
shift work.’
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 7

Onset of symptoms in relation to Other occupational hazards to health

The mining and metals sector, as
When considering how to monitor with all employment sectors, will on
for the development of adverse occasions encounter cases of ‘stress’
health effects from exposures in the and other adverse mental health and
workplace, it is important to consider well-being effects that are attributable
the time frame over which the health to, or contributed to by, occupational
effects manifest themselves. factors, including shift work. A further
potential adverse health effect is
Acute health effects are those that chronic fatigue brought about by the
are more likely to be immediately intense physical demands of mining
obvious to the individual and where it and metals activities. ‘Chronic health effects
is often possible to attribute cause and usually occur after
effect. Acute health effects usually
appear within hours of exposure.
repeated exposure
For example, contact with an irritant over days, weeks and
vapour may lead to watering eyes, months. Examples of
sneezing, coughing, irritation and, in such conditions would
extreme cases, respiratory distress.
be noise-induced
Chronic health effects are ones that hearing loss and
can develop over a longer period of hand-arm vibration
exposure. On occasions these will be syndrome.’
conditions where the severity of the
symptoms or disease, or the risk of
harm, is related to the cumulative
exposure to the hazard over a period
of months or years. Chronic health
effects usually occur after repeated
exposure over days, weeks and
months. Examples of such conditions
would be noise-induced hearing loss
and hand-arm vibration syndrome.

Long latency is a feature of many

occupationally acquired diseases
where the development of the signs
and symptoms of the condition
occur many years after the exposure
that is implicated in causation.
Examples include the development
of mesothelioma (following asbestos
exposure), other lung cancers
(eg from diesel exhaust exposure)
and pneumoconiosis (silicosis, coal
worker’s pneumoconiosis, asbestosis),
which can occur decades after
exposure has ceased.
8 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Introduction continued

1.3 The HRA process (see Figure 2) Steps in an HRA

ensures that factors influencing health
Occupational health risk are fully understood and adequately
An HRA is a cyclical and iterative
assessment quantified so that decisions are taken
process rather than a simple linear
one and is generally made up of the
in a consistent and cost-effective
Introduction steps shown in Table 1.
Health risk assessment involves four
key elements:
• identification of hazards and their Table 1: Steps in an HRA
• estimation of the potential for Step Description
exposure and the related health 1 Identify the health hazards and the sources of these health hazards in the
effects workplace and the harmful health effects associated with the identified
• quantification of exposures hazards. Consider potential new and emerging health risks as well.

• assessment of the risk through: 2 Identify the potentially exposed individuals and groups (ie similar
exposure groups).5
• use of techniques such as the
bow-tie analysis 3 Identify the processes, tasks and areas where hazardous exposures
could occur.
• identification and assessment of
the effectiveness of current 4 Assess, measure or verify the exposures.
controls. 5 Assess the potential health risks of the hazardous exposures
(eg duration of exposure, frequency of exposure, level of exposure
An occupational health risk compared against occupational exposure limit, etc).
assessment (HRA) is therefore 6 Rate and prioritise the health risks (high, medium and low), including the
the structured and systematic identification of potential health MUEs.
identification and analysis of 7 Identify existing controls and assess the effectiveness of these control
workplace hazards with the aim measures. For MUEs determine if any of the identified controls meet the
of reducing the risks of exposure criteria for a critical control.
to these hazards through the 8 Establish a risk and controls register.
development and implementation
9 Decide on risk acceptability and set priorities for action.
of measures to prevent release of
the hazard and mitigate the effects 10 Implement corrective action – develop, implement and monitor a risk
of exposure should it occur. In the control action plan or review existing risk control action plan.
For identified MUEs this involves the use of a control framework that is
occupational setting, it is the first
aligned with ICMM’s Health and safety critical control management: good
step in health risk management. practice guide (2015).

Health risk management is the 11 Timely reinstatement of controls if they fail (particularly critical controls).
decision-making process involving 12 Maintain accurate and systematic records of the HRA or amend existing
considerations of political, social, risk control action plan and use alternative and/or additional control
economic and engineering factors measures.
combined with risk assessment 13 Review and amend at regular intervals or earlier if changes to processes
information to develop, analyse or new developments are proposed.
and compare options and to select
between them.4

4. Gray, GM, Jeffery, WG and Marchant, GE (2001). Risk assessment and risk management of non-ferrous metals:
realizing the benefits and controlling the risks. Ottawa: International Council on Metals and the Environment.

5. A similar exposure group (SEG) is a group of workers having the same general exposure profile for the
agent(s) being studied because of the similarity and frequency of the tasks they perform, the materials and
processes with which they work and the similarity of the way they perform those tasks (Mulhausen, J (2015).
‘Establishing similar exposure groups’. Chapter 4 in Jahn, SD, Bullock, WH and Ignacio, JC (eds), A strategy
for assessing and managing occupational exposures (4th edn). Falls Church, Virginia: American Industrial
Hygiene Association). An alternative view is workers who are protected by a common critical control for
a hazard.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 9

Figure 2: The health risk assessment process


Chemical 1. 13. 12. 11.

Physical Identify health Review Maintain accurate Timely
Biological hazards and their and systematic reinstatement of
Ergonomics sources records controls if they fail

Identify potentially Identify and
exposed individuals/ manage critical
groups (SEGs) controls

3. controls
Identify processes,
tasks and areas
where exposure
can occur Identify any
4 & 5.
verify exposure and Issue based
assess health risks RA

6. Critical control
Rate and prioritize management


7. Monitor Does the

risk meet the NO
Identify existing
controls and assess criteria as an
effectiveness MUE?

8. 9. 10.
Establish risk and Decide on risk Implement
controls register acceptability corrective action
10 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Introduction continued

Steps in an HRA A continuous HRA is an ongoing

monitoring programme for controls
An HRA is a cyclical and iterative
and exposure and a schedule of
process rather than a simple linear
regular reviews to determine whether
one and is generally made up of the
conditions have remained the same,
steps shown in Table 1.
whether changes in processes, tasks
or areas have occurred and whether
Types of HRA
these changes have modified any
There are three broad types of HRAs hazardous exposures and hence any
that are each conducted at different potential health risks. A management
levels and at different times: of change programme can also
• baseline HRAs be considered as being part of a
continuous HRA programme.
• issues-based or targeted HRAs
• continuous HRAs. Continuous HRA is part of an effective
health risk management programme
A baseline HRA is used to determine and includes learning from incidents,
the current status of occupational which is linked to continuous
health risks associated with a facility, improvement.
and a set of risk profiles is obtained.
This tends to be a very wide-ranging An HRA can be qualitative involving
assessment that encompasses all a qualitative assessment of
potential exposures, the sources exposures and/or risks (eg baseline
of health risks and the controls HRAs) or quantitative involving the
associated with the identified risks measurement of exposures and/or the
and sources and their effectiveness. quantification of the potential health
It allows for a prioritisation of risks (eg issues-based HRAs).
interventions to remedy those
conditions that are found to be The HRA must be a living document,
unacceptable. and the distinction between baseline,
issues-based and continuous
An issues-based or targeted HRA is becomes blurred once the process
designed to more distinctly and clearly of health risk management is under
delineate and quantify health risks way. The continuous HRA is the
associated with particular aspects ongoing checking of the baseline HRA
of the work activity, processes or and monitoring of controls and their ‘Continuous HRA is part
sources. Where significant risks are
identified, the output should be clear
effectiveness through the detection 2of an effective health
of control failures (principally critical
management recommendations for controls) and the effects on the
2risk management
control. Control measures (including exposed workers. 2programme and
critical control measures) for 2includes learning
unacceptable health risks (that could
include MUEs) are identified and
2from incidents, which
defined according to bow-tie or similar 2is linked to continuous
principles. 2improvement.’
12 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Introduction continued

When to do an HRA New developments, processes,

activities and working methods
All three types of HRA are generally
undertaken in the mining and metals A baseline or issues-based HRA,
sector although each is conducted at undertaken at the conceptual and
different points in time during the HRA detailed design stages of new
cycle. A baseline HRA is conducted developments, processes and
first – this identifies priority hazards, activities, provides an opportunity
risks and areas that need additional for the implementation of the most
assessment. An issues-based or cost-effective approaches for the
targeted HRA is then instigated. elimination and reduction of hazards
The development of a health risk in the workplace.
management (HRM) programme that
will include an exposure sampling This HRA should generally focus on ‘Changes in processes
the plans and process descriptions
strategy and control monitoring
programme provides data that further and discussions with design
and tasks, as well
informs the HRA. A new issues-based engineers, occupational health and as additional
HRA may then be undertaken as occupational hygiene practitioners development, should
issues are identified, and so on, in an and operational staff to identify: trigger a review of the
ongoing and iterative process. • potential health hazards and existing baseline and
potential sources of health hazards
An HRA, or the review of an existing in the workplace
continuous HRAs.’
HRA, should be considered in the
• tasks and activities where workers
following situations:
might be exposed to these hazards
• all new routine and non-routine
• the current controls to prevent
activities and developments
the release of the hazard into the
(exploration, design and
work environment and, in the event
of release, prevention of exposure of
• all existing operations (operation employees
and extraction)
• likely levels of exposure
• where there are changes to existing
• appropriate exposure limits
activities (expansion, replacing an
old process with a new one) • likely baseline health and well-being
of potential workers.
• post-operating activities (closure
and remediation/rehabilitation)
This information should then be used
• following an incident/accident. as a key input into the overall design
of a mine, allowing the design of
exposure controls, the implementation
of appropriate standards for such
controls and the development of
operating procedures.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 13

Existing operations Following an incident

A continuous HRA is more suitable The definition of a health-related
for existing operations with a focus on incident can vary according to the
the effectiveness of existing controls approach used by the company. In its
and potential exposures during both simplest form, an incident may be the
routine and non-routine operational failure of a control or critical control
activities as well as normal, abnormal resulting in the uncontrolled release
and emergency conditions. It is of the health hazard into the work
important that the possibility of long environment. A more severe incident
latency diseases is assessed and that may be the detection of a health effect
adequate data is collected to ensure caused by exposure to the hazard with
appropriate controls, in the first detection of occupational disease
instance, and to provide for the likely to cause severe incapacity or
follow-up of employees upon closure. even death being the most severe.
The investigation and management
Change to existing activities of incidents at all levels is likely to
lead to information that can be used
Changes in processes and tasks,
to drive continuous improvement and
as well as additional development,
inform the HRA.
should trigger a review of the existing
baseline and continuous HRAs.
Should there be an incident, for
This review would generally focus on
example failure of a control measure,
whether there is a need to conduct a
an investigation of the cause of failure
full HRA of the whole operation, an
should be undertaken to prevent
HRA of that specific process or task,
future occurrences or repeats.
or the incorporation of the change
This information should also be used
into the existing HRA through minor
to update the HRA.
amendments to the HRA and the
HRM plan.
New versus existing operations
Closure and post-operation A baseline HRA will be needed for all
new operations. However, for existing
An issues-based HRA should
operations it is likely that a baseline
generally be undertaken when a mine
HRA has already been done – this
or other facility is closed. Closure
should be reviewed and continuous
brings a different set of hazards
and issues-based HRA instigated as
concerned with the dismantling of
necessary. It is worthwhile for new
plants, buildings and equipment.
operations to review HRAs conducted
These include residues, hazardous
for similar existing operations.
materials, naturally occurring
radioactive substances, asbestos,
This can fast-track the progression
from baseline to continuous and
‘Should there be
etc. There is also likely to be a need
issues-based HRA though conducting an incident, for
to clean up any contaminated land
before divestment. The closure HRA
a baseline HRA for any new operation example failure of
should also consider the possibility of
is vital. a control measure,
long latency diseases and provide for an investigation of
the follow-up of employees with the the cause of failure
relevant exposures. Lastly, workers
are likely to lose their jobs and this
should be undertaken
may lead to anxiety, stress, to prevent future
depression and other mental health occurrences or
and well-being effects. repeats.’
14 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Introduction continued

Scope of an HRA In some circumstances there may

be only one occupational health or
It is important to define the objectives
hygiene practitioner on-site and in
and boundaries of the HRA. This
this case an advisory group should be
judgment should be made after
established to support the process
discussions with managers and
and scope of the HRA. In general,
worker representatives.
where an HRA team or advisory group
is set up it should include:
The major boundaries for any HRA
are the physical boundaries. Some • an occupational health or hygiene
adviser with experience of
examples of physical boundaries are:
conducting HRAs ‘Ideally, the HRA
• a complete operational site with
a well-defined activity, such as an • a management representative from should be carried out
individual mine, a set of clustered the facility, process or area being by a multidisciplinary
mines or an office block or assessed team with a range
operational complex • a worker representative with of specialist skills,
• an individual process unit within a knowledge of the facility, process or
area being assessed
including those
large mining complex
• other specialist staff as required,
associated with the
• a group of functions that support a
single business process. for example designers, engineers, process or task
toxicologists or ergonomists. being assessed.’
Other aspects that should be
considered include whether the A management representative is
focus is on specific processes, tasks highly desirable as early engagement
or workers and whether exposures can ensure that the findings of the
will be estimated qualitatively or HRA are acted upon quickly. Worker
measured and quantified (ie whether representatives are often an invaluable
the HRA will be qualitative or part of an HRA team or advisory group
quantitative), which is very dependent as they can bring detailed knowledge
on past experience and exposure data of the process, activity or area being
collection from similar processes or examined, as well as insights as to
tasks. Section 3.1 provides further how tasks are actually performed
guidance. and can advise on the frequency of
control failures. This helps to ensure
Setting up an HRA team or advisory that the analysis of the potential
group health risks is accurate. In addition,
their involvement in the HRA is likely
Ideally, the HRA should be carried to increase their understanding and
out by a multidisciplinary team with appreciation of health hazards and
a range of specialist skills, including support the development of a zero
those associated with the process harm mindset among workers.
or task being assessed. The exact
number of people involved in the Additional specialists can be part of
HRA and the range and level of skills the core HRA team, can be part of the
required depends on: wider support base that are consulted
• the size and complexity of the when needed, or may act as peer
facility, process or area being reviewers of the final draft HRA before
assessed it is finalised.
• the nature and severity of the
hazards and health risks involved.

Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 15

Key competencies needed to conduct Table 2: Key competencies for undertaking occupational HRA
an HRA
Domain Competency
The key individual and team
competencies needed to undertake Knowledge An understanding and experience of conducting HRAs.
HRAs successfully are shown in An understanding of the workplace operations being
Table 2. assessed.
An understanding of the methods for controlling
exposures and reducing risks in mining and associated
Organisational The ability to collect information systematically and
Scientific The ability to predict any potential departures from expected
or observed practice and understand its significance.
The ability to undertake simple diagnostic tests, for example
using a smoke tube to test air movement, simple sound level
metering or using colorimetric tubes, etc.
The ability to identify and review the relevant scientific and
technical literature.
The ability to look critically at existing arrangements.
The ability to observe so that they can clearly appreciate
the activity being performed and the significance of what is
being witnessed, particularly where written procedures are
not being followed.
The ability to assess exposures and estimate the potential
health risks arising from them.
The ability to develop credible, statistically valid and robust
conclusions from the analysis of health risks.
Medical Knowledge and understanding of the health effects of major
physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychological
exposures in the mining and metals sector. An ability to
integrate this knowledge with the control strategy.
Managerial The ability to investigate, and pursue with management, the
opportunities to eliminate hazardous exposures at source.
The ability to perceive the range and limitations of possible
control measures and their relative reliability.
Communications The ability to ask the right questions to operational staff,
managers and advisers and understand the significance of
the answers.
The ability to specify and follow up on the type of control
measures needed and their implementation.
The ability to record findings in an understandable manner.
Personal An awareness of the limits of own competence and the
confidence and persistence to be able to ask for, and get,
specialist assistance when required.
16 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 17

of issues
18 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Identification of issues
2.1 Figure 3: Illustrative flow chart for a mining operation

Occupation health impacts of

mining and metals Mining Primary Secondary
benefication benefication
A mine is a complex workplace Engineering services
involving the entire spectrum of
exploration, extraction, crushing,
milling, flotation, smelting and • Underground • Crushing • Smelting • Processing
refining as well as engineering • Opencast • Milling • Electrowinning • Packaging
processes from the operation of • Flotation • Refining • Transport of
chemical processes, heavy equipment • Leaching final product
and electrical maintenance to • Concentration • Waste
electronics. Operations are often management
located in remote environments and
it will be important to also consider
issues around security, the potential For the various stages of a mining However, the particular types of
for natural catastrophes, travel risks, operation the categories of hazards hazards that predominate within
medical evacuation capability, the remain the same: each of these five categories
standards of local health facilities, • physical environment change at the mining, primary
etc. The range of potential exposures • chemical beneficiation and secondary
• biological beneficiation stages as well as for
is therefore extensive. Figure 3
each of the activities within these
illustrates the main elements of the • ergonomic
mining and mineral process and • psychological.
how they influence the types of
hazards found.

Step 1: desktop analysis

The first step in identifying health • site inspections
hazards is a desktop analysis. This is • minutes of health and safety
particularly useful where records of meetings
previous HRAs and other employment
• material safety data sheets.
records are available. Some examples
of the types of records that might be
A review of the design of the facility,
available are:
together with blueprints and
• incident reports schematics of the individual area or
• audit reports process, and related health records
• previous HRAs will help to systematically identify
the potential health hazards that are
• occupational illness and injury
present or might occur.
• equipment maintenance and fault
• health surveillance records6
• sickness absence reports
• previous occupational hygiene

6. Health surveillance can vary from simple questions from trained supervisors to comprehensive medical
supervision undertaken by an occupational health physician. It is important to assess the strength of
evidence and determine the appropriate weighting given to the information that is available. An adverse report
from a responsible person undertaking screening skin inspections will generally have less weight than that of
an occupational physician or a dermatologist who diagnoses an occupational skin disorder.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 19

Step 2: walk-through survey Chemical agents Ergonomic issues

A walk-through survey of the area, • Are workers exposed to chemicals • Do workers have to carry out heavy
process or task enables the assessor that could affect normal physical or manual tasks?
to get a sense of the types of potential mental functioning in the short or • Are workers involved in repetitive,
health hazards, the levels of exposure, long term? awkward or unnatural movements;
the types of workers and workers’ • What chemicals are being used? or do they have to remain in a static
general levels of health, physical and Review the site hazardous position for long periods?
mental functioning through the careful chemicals register if available. • Is work performed under extreme
use of the senses – vision, hearing, • Does the process allow for environmental conditions (heat,
smell and feel. chemicals to be mixed, and could cold, wet)?
that give rise to a hazard? • Do they wear occlusive protective
Some key aspects to be considered
• What products, by-products and clothing that restricts free
Physical environment issues wastes (gaseous, liquid or solid) are movement or requires greater
• What noisy equipment or processes being produced? exertion?
are present? • What potentially hazardous building • Does the job require immediate
• Are cutting and welding activities construction materials have been mental alertness and agility? Could
carried out that emit infrared or used? fatigue, distraction and the use of
ultraviolet light radiation? Is any • Are there any safety or health medication create a hazard?
equipment used that emits ionising hazards related to the compatibility
radiation? of chemicals stored together?
• What tasks involve exposure to
hand-arm transmitted or whole- Biological issues
body vibration? • What systems are present for
• Are there any working areas where drinking water, effluent, sanitation
extremes of heat, cold or humidity and sewage? What is the potential
are present or could occur? for pathogenic microorganisms?

• Are there any specialist tasks • What washing facilities are present? ‘A walk-through
Are they adequate for the number
involving changes in atmospheric
of workers and are they cleaned
survey of the area,
pressure, for example tunnelling
work under compressed air? regularly? process or task
• Is ventilation adequate? Is there a • Does the site have a legionella enables the assessor
of potentially harmful gases? management and control to get a sense of the
• Are employees potentially exposed
programme? types of potential
to non-ionising radiation? • In restaurants and canteens and health hazards, the
eating places, what is the
potential for insects, rodents and
levels of exposure,
microorganisms? the types of workers
• Are there air conditioning systems? and workers’ general
What is the potential for pathogenic levels of health,
microorganisms? physical and mental
• Are there any disease-carrying functioning’
insect or rodent vectors in the local
environment, for example malaria-
carrying mosquitoes, leptospirosis
and plague-carrying rats, etc?
• Are there any cultural practices
that may increase the risk of
infectious disease, for example
eating bushmeat?
20 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Identification of issues continued

Psychological issues Step 3: rating hazards

• Is the job organisation, in terms of Hazards can also be numerically rated
shift patterns, rotations, resources in terms of their likely health effects
and workload, likely to lead to sleep as shown in Table 3. This supports
disturbance and/or mental stress? the accurate assessment and
• Is there harassment, discrimination, prioritisation of risks by highlighting
bullying or violence either explicit those hazards that could give rise to
or implicit? significant harm to workers.
• Is there restructuring of the
organisation or business unit and/or Within the process of rating hazards
a change or redeployment of is a consideration of the toxicity of the
workers? agent and the time and dose required
for harm to occur.
• Are workers isolated from family,
friends and other social support
networks or working alone? Table 3: Illustrative example of criteria to rate hazards
• Are there culture, faith and
language issues? Hazard rating Definition
• Is there a lack of leisure and 1 – Minor health effects Exposure at this level is unlikely to lead
recreation opportunities? to harm.
• Is there a system in place for 2 – Reversible health effects Non-life-threatening reversible health
workers to pass on issues and effects.
complaints? How well is it used? 3 – Adverse health effects Adverse health effects that are
• Is there access to a formal permanent but do not significantly
affect quality of life or longevity. Health
rehabilitation programme? On
effects that may be mildly limiting or
remote sites this could be on-site disabling and therefore could lead to a
or via telephonic or internet access. change of occupation and lifestyle.
4 – Significant and severe health effects Adverse health effects that are
generally permanent and could lead to
a significant reduction in quality of life
and/or longevity. Continued exposure
is generally likely to lead to permanent
physical or mental disability or a
long-term limiting illness.

‘Hazards can also be

numerically rated in
terms of their likely
health effects. This
supports the accurate
assessment and
prioritisation of risks
by highlighting those
hazards that could
give rise to significant
harm to workers.’
22 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Identification of issues continued

2.2 It is important when developing SEGs

to list all the key processes and tasks
Identifying exposed workers that are undertaken by workers doing
similar jobs so that hazards can be
systematically and comprehensively
Where there are large numbers of identified. It is useful to draw on
workers it may not be practical to workers’ own experiences and to
assess the risks for each individual discuss with workers the activities
worker. In such cases it is more that they are undertaking in a
effective and efficient to identify particular area of work to ensure that
groups of workers with similar all the potential exposures have been
exposure levels. These groups are identified. As a general rule, workers
generally referred to as similar should be assigned to an SEG based
exposure groups (SEGs). on which areas and/or processes they
spend 80 per cent of their time.
Identifying exposed workers by SEGs
Identifying exposed workers by
A sensible approach is to divide
workers by process or areas of
work and then to subdivide them by It is also worthwhile identifying
occupation and generate groups of whether there are any workers that
workers with similar exposures, that are potentially more susceptible or
is SEGs. In this way the exposure vulnerable to some hazards than other
and risks to workers can be better workers such as:
captured and assessed accurately. • pregnant women and nursing
SEGs may be based upon tasks mothers
or area of work depending on the
• new recruits or temporary workers
structure of the working environment,
because they do not know what
and should include third party
hazards are present and how to
contractors where exposed.
avoid or deal with them
It is important to develop a reasonable • workers with pre-existing
number of SEGs, not too many occupational and non-occupational
and not too few, as too few will not illness and any other form of
physical or mental limitation
differentiate the exposures of
workers narrowly enough and too identified by the medical ‘It is useful to draw
many will become difficult to manage. surveillance programme on workers’ own
The exact number will depend on the • workers operating in high hazard experiences and to
ranges of different processes and areas or processes discuss with workers
hence categories of exposure under
• ageing workforce the activities that
• smokers or other substance users, they are undertaking
Typical examples of occupational
including medications, where this
may increase the health risk from
in a particular area
groups by process or area of work are:
an occupational hazard. of work to ensure
• ore extraction workers that all the potential
• ore transfer truck drivers exposures have been
• smelting plant maintenance staff identified.’
• office administrative staff
• laboratory technicians
• mine geologists and engineers.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 23

2.3 Equipment and machinery Controls

Identifying potentially When reviewing equipment and • What controls are in place?
machinery, some important things to
hazardous processes, tasks • At what level in the hierarchy of
consider are:
and areas control are they? (see Section 3.4)
• its design and condition • Are they effective?
Introduction • how it is used and the training being • Are they being maintained?
To systematically identify and assess • For MUEs, what are the critical
processes, tasks and areas where • whether it is malfunctioning or controls?
exposure to hazardous agents may inoperable
• Has the purpose and performance
occur, and to assign workers to the • whether it is being maintained parameters of each critical control
most appropriate SEGs, it is important • its location in relation to other been defined?
to review: activities • Have the control objectives,
• processes and tasks • associated hazards, for example expected performance and
• equipment and machinery dust, noise, vibration, radiation, heat management information been
• environment and location or exhaust emissions and the points defined?
of release. • Is there a system for the monitoring
• medical surveillance records and
trends.7 of and reporting on the performance
Environment and location (ie availability, effectiveness and
Processes and tasks When reviewing the environment and efficiency) of the identified
location, some important things to critical controls?
When reviewing processes and tasks,
consider are: • If personal protective equipment is
some important things to consider
are: • adequacy of ventilation used:
• routine, non-routine and emergency • appropriate temperature regulation • Is it appropriate and effective?
situations • humidity • Have employees been trained on
• hours of work • ergonomic design of the workspace the correct use of the provided
• lighting personal protective equipment?
• shift rotation
• physical space available to move • Is its use monitored?
• sources of hazard
around in • Is it maintained?
• worker positioning in relation to
sources • the possibility of the hazard
spreading outside the area in
• control measures already in place.
question, to other departments or
the community.

7. These records are held by the occupational health clinic and only concern medical examinations and tests
done in relation to exposures in the workplace. They thus differ from personal medical records that are held
by the employee’s personal doctor or primary care records that may be held by the occupational health clinic.
Personal medical records are confidential, but there may be some access to anonymised medical surveillance
records. In general, consolidated data or information that has had the identification removed may be viewed.
Should it be necessary to view an individual’s record without removing their identity then the employee’s
permission will need to be sought.
24 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 25

26 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

3.1 Direct quantitative assessment of • Review non-routine and intermittent
exposures activities, for example maintenance
Assessing exposure levels operations, loading and unloading
Direct measurement of exposures to
and changes in production cycles.
Introduction health hazards should be considered
when: • Take account of unplanned
The aim of estimating exposure but foreseeable events such as
levels is to characterise exposures • doubts arise about compliance with
interruptions in work activity,
in terms of their intensity, frequency recognised exposure limits
potential for accidental exposure
and duration for SEGs, processes, • excessive exposure could involve and machinery failure.
tasks and areas. Exposures can be serious health effects
• Review whether the medical
estimated indirectly and qualitatively, • justification is needed to implement emergency response arrangements
or quantified by direct measurement. control measures are appropriate, for example first aid
All exposure measurements should
• the choice of control measures measures and transfer of victims to
follow a validated statistical sampling
depends on the levels of exposure specialist facilities.
and assessment methodology as
well as quality control procedures. • the effectiveness of a control • Consider whether workers not
Figure 4 provides a decision flow measure needs to be evaluated directly involved in a particular
chart to aid decision-making on which • workers’ concerns need to be activity but present in the vicinity
exposure measurement strategy to alleviated are exposed to a hazard.
use in a particular context. • it is, or has become, a regulatory
Indirect qualitative assessment of
• investigating or responding to
reported health effects.
Indirect qualitative assessment of
exposures can be made either during Key matters to consider when
a walk-through survey to identify estimating exposures
the potential health hazards, or
The following points can help in
based on previous direct quantitative
estimating exposure levels:
measurements of exposure, or a
combination of the two. The level of • Are levels of exposure consistently
exposure is assessed by taking into high or low, are there peaks and
account the hazards that have been troughs in the levels of exposure
identified; the SEGs that have been and are they continuous or
defined; and the processes, tasks intermittent?
and areas that have been considered • Note any aspects of processes and
through the review of documents, the tasks that may increase exposure.
walk-through survey and discussions • Speak to staff to understand their
with managers and workers. perceptions and experience of the
task and the associated hazards.
• Are there any controls in place?
Are they effective? ‘All exposure
• Is a programme in place that 2measurements should
monitors the effectiveness of the 2follow a validated
2statistical sampling
• Are employees familiar with the
controls, their performance criteria
2and assessment
and limitations? 2methodology as well
• Review control maintenance and 2as quality control
inspection records. 2procedures.’
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 27

Figure 4: When to use the different types of direct exposure measurement surveys

Conduct baseline qualitative

exposure survey

Has the initial exposure survey shown that exposures are above or potentially YES
above occupational exposure limits (OELs)?
Is there potential exposure to carcinogens or reproductive toxins (ALARP applies)?

YES Has the initial exposure survey shown that exposures are well below OELs,
and is the judgment that they are likely to remain so?
Provide evidence and justification for your answer.

Conduct detailed qualitative

exposure survey

Has the detailed exposure survey shown that exposures are above OELs? YES
Ensure a validated statistical sampling and assessment
methodology has been used.

YES Has the detailed exposure survey shown that exposures are well below OELs,
and is the judgment that they are likely to remain so?
Provide evidence and justification for your answer.

NO Is routine exposure monotoring required?

Provide evidence and justification for your answer.

Conduct or continue
routine exposure monitoring

Has routine exposure monitoring shown exposures to be above OELs?

Has routine exposure monotoring shown that exposures are well below OELs,
and is the judgment that they are likely to remain so?
Provide evidence and justification for your answer.
Is there a need or requirement to continue routine/periodic exposure monitoring?
Provide evidence and justification for your answer.

Feed into HRA or review existing HRA

Document survey and monitoring in HRA record Develop or amend the risk control action plan
28 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

3.2 Identifying material unwanted events The business will need to also
consider how MFL is to be calculated
Risk rating The new step in the HRA process is
with respect to the plausibility of
the identification of MUEs, unwanted
no controls being in place for the
Introduction events where the potential or real
duration of exposure identified as
consequence exceeds a threshold
Once the exposures have been being necessary for the event to
defined by the company as warranting
estimated by hazard, by SEG and by occur. It is therefore critical how the
the highest level of attention. By their
process, task or area, then it is time business actually defines the risk
very definition they must be relatively
to analyse the potential health risks event.
few in number, because otherwise
and the significance of those health
‘if everything is important, nothing
risks categorised. Examples from ICMM company
is important’. It is not the intent to
members on health MUEs include:
replicate the guidance contained in
Risk rating or characterisation is the • the exposure of large numbers of
ICMM’s Health and safety critical
process for estimating the incidence workers to carcinogenic agents at
control management: good practice
and severity of adverse health levels that exceed occupational
guide (2015), but simply highlight a
effects likely to occur due to actual exposure limits (OELs) (discounting
few key points.
or predicted exposures to workplace the protection afforded by personal
health hazards. It is the final product protective equipment – as required
Materiality criteria
of the HRA that can be used to in defining materiality)
develop and prioritise controls and to Materiality criteria define the
threshold that a risk must exceed • the exposure to silica in a workforce
communicate risks.
before being considered a material with high prevalence of HIV and the
risk. The perceived likelihood of an associated risk of silicotuberculosis.
The decision on the risk rating and
priority for action that is attached to a event by any one individual might
be inaccurate, especially for low- Section 3.4 describes the principles
particular risk is an internal company
probability/high-consequence events. associated with the good management
decision. Generally, a materiality level
It is recommended that materiality of controls in general. However,
for risk acceptance is set and a start
should be defined based on MUEs require an additional level of
is made with the most serious risks,
consequences, such as the maximum management focus and therefore
working downwards as these are
foreseeable loss. should be managed in accordance
brought under control. This process
with ICMM’s Health and safety critical
of setting priorities determines what
Maximum foreseeable loss (MFL) control management: good practice
is a material risk for which an MUE
guide (2015).
is identified. That is then fed into the It is usual to assume there are no
bow-tie analysis and a management controls in place.
programme developed. Inherent in
this is the identification of critical With respect to health risks,
controls that will be carefully where due to the long latency that
managed so as to prevent the exists between first exposure
consequences of the unwanted (eg carcinogenic agent) and onset of
event at the centre of the bow tie disease (eg lung cancer), it can be
(ie the MUE). difficult to attribute the disease to the
workplace and the worker may well
be long retired. Therefore, the
perception of risk is likely to be
very low or discounted altogether,
reinforcing the need to evaluate
based upon MFL.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 29

Risk rating approaches Semi-quantitative – involves the use

of a matrix based on the consequence
One of the most important steps is to
of exposure and likelihood of
determine whether the level of risk is
exposure. Exposures can then be
acceptable by assigning a risk rank
rated using a scale based on an OEL
level to the situation under review.
or other health standard (see Table 3).
There are numerous methods of rating
When rating exposures, it is important
risks to assist in the prioritisation of
to consider:
management action. Most of these
use a two-dimensional matrix with • all the relevant routes of exposure
either three or five levels of impact • potential cumulative exposures
and likelihood. However, health • any limitations in health standards
risks often have a third dimension if the standard does not consider all
to them and that is the uncertainty routes – for example, potential
surrounding exposure, toxicity, dermal or ingestion risks are
the biological effect and individual generally not taken into account
idiosyncrasy in biological response. when OELs are set.8

The estimations can be defined in NB: For carcinogens and reproductive

qualitative, quantitative or semi- toxicants (known and suspected),
quantitative terms: meeting an OEL is not adequate;
exposures must be ‘as low as
Qualitative – judgment is used and reasonably [achievable or] practicable’
a simple ranking mechanism of low, (ALARP).9 There must be an annual
moderate or high is utilised. This is documented review of exposure
especially useful when performing the controls for these substances.
baseline-type risk assessment where
the objective is simply to identify the The following are some examples of
significant health risks that are then
more comprehensively measured and/
how the qualitative, quantitative or ‘Risk rating or
semi-quantitative approaches can be
or analysed. It is difficult to prioritise applied.
characterisation is the
interventions with this method. process for estimating
the incidence and
Quantitative – involves the use of
mathematical equations that are the
severity of adverse
extension of the low, medium and health effects likely to
high scenarios and describes risk as occur due to actual or
the consequence of severity of harm predicted exposures
or damage that can occur and the
proportion of time exposed to the
to workplace health
hazard. hazards.’

8. ICMM and Institute of Environment and Health (2007). The setting and use of occupational exposure limits:
current practice. London: ICMM.

9. HSE UK. ALARP ‘at a glance’. Available at

(accessed 31 October 2016).
30 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

Qualitative In the example in Table 4, all A

category exposures would have a
Table 4 uses a qualitative/simple
bow-tie analysis completed and
exposure rating system for illustrative
critical controls identified. Because
purposes. In practice, exposure
of the inherent uncertainty regarding
ratings can range from negligible
exposure, toxicity, the biological effect,
through low, medium/moderate and
etc, B category exposures identified in
high to very high/critical.
the baseline risk assessment should
be monitored on a regular basis.
In Table 4 the exposures in the A
Hazards that are in the B category
category are regarded as being certain
because they are well controlled
to produce an adverse health effect,
should be managed as though they
exposures in the B category may
are in the A category.
result in an adverse health effect
(depending on the sensitivity of the
individual) and exposures in the C
category are unlikely to cause an
adverse health effect.

The classification can be used to

assist management decisions about
control of the risk associated with
the exposure. In the A category an
intervention must be made to reduce
exposure to below the OEL. In the B
category there may be no intervention
required beyond monitoring or active
management of controls to ensure
that the exposure remains at this level
or lower. In the C category periodic
monitoring is required. ‘In practice, exposure
ratings can range from
negligible through low,
medium/moderate and
high to very high/critical.’
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 31

Table 4: Qualitative/simple exposure rating system

Exposure OEL exposure Definition Risk Action approach

rating band category
Low Less than 50% of OEL Frequent contact with the potential C Supervisory
(<0.5 x OEL) hazard at low concentrations, or
infrequent contact with the potential Do not need active controls.
hazard at moderate concentrations. Verify periodically.

Frequently can expect the exposure to be Sampling strategy is aimed at

less than 10% of the OEL, or infrequently routine checks.
can expect the exposure to meet or
exceed 10% of the OEL, but less than
50% of the OEL.

Exposures are at or well controlled to

below the OEL, there are less likely to
be breaches of the OEL and this level
of exposure is likely to cause little or no
adverse health effect.

Medium/ Between 50% and 100% Frequent contact with the potential B Control
moderate of OEL hazard at moderate concentrations, or
(>0.5–1 x OEL) infrequent contact with the potential Need active monitoring of
hazard at high concentrations. controls to ensure exposure
remains below OEL.
Frequently can expect the exposure to
meet or exceed 10% of the OEL, but less Workplace sampling strategy
than 50% of the OEL, or infrequently can is aimed at quality control and
expect the exposure to meet or exceed checking on controls.
50% of the OEL, but less than 100% of
the OEL. Medical surveillance of
workers exposed at >50% of
Exposures are at or controlled up to the OEL.
OEL, there is a potential for breaches
of the OEL and this may cause an
adverse health effect in some workers,
eg vulnerable groups.

High At or greater than OEL Frequent contact with the potential A Intervention
(>OEL) hazard at high concentrations, or
infrequent contact with the potential Need active intervention to
hazard at very high concentrations. reduce exposure to below
Frequently can expect the exposure to
meet or exceed 100% of the OEL. Control may be identified as
Exposures are above and/or not
controlled to the OEL and are likely
to cause adverse health effects in the
majority of workers exposed either in
the short or long term.
32 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

Quantitative Table 5: Example risk factor values for use in a quantitative approach
An illustrative example of a
Risk factor Value
quantitative approach is provided.
It produces a numerical result, as Probability of Continuously exceeding 10
illustrated in the following method: exceeding OEL Intermittently 6
Unusual, but possible 3
Risk rating = consequence rating x
likelihood rating Only remotely possible 1
(has happened somewhere)
where: Conceivable, but very unlikely 0.5
• consequence is based on severity of Period exposed Continuous for 8-hour shift 10
harm or damage that can occur Continuous for between 2 and 4 hours per shift 6
• likelihood rating is based on the Continuous for between 1 and 2 hours per shift 3
chance of exposure and the Short periods of time (a few times per month) 2
proportion of time exposed to the
Unusual (a few times per year) 1
Rare (once per year) 0.5
• the likelihood rating is based on
both level of exposure to a hazard Consequence One or more fatalities 100
and the frequency and duration of Major disability 50
exposure. Serious illness – absent for longer than 14 days 15
Major illness – absent for longer than 7 days but 7
less than 14 days

Risk rating = consequence x Minor illness – absent for 7 days or less 1

probability of exposure x period of
Table 6: Example appropriate actions as per calculated risk
The values allocated to the various
elements are based on some form of Calculated risk Risk classification Action
grading system illustrated in Table 5. 400 and above Intolerable risk (MUE) Consider discontinuation
200–399 Very high risk (MUE) Immediate action required
The numerically calculated risk rating
is then assessed against a tabulated 70–199 High risk Correction required
risk classification and the appropriate 20–69 Potential risk Attention necessary
action is undertaken (see Table 6). Under 20 Tolerable risk Monitor

It should be noted that the values

provided by the equation could
potentially lead to a large number of
issues being identified as ‘intolerable’, Semi-quantitative
which could hamper efforts to
As previously stated, the most
prioritise the key risks to control.
common way companies undertake
risk rating is to use a two-dimensional
matrix with either three or five levels
of consequence and likelihood.

Table 7 provides an example matrix,

adapted from an ICMM company
member, to illustrate how a risk rating
can be derived.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 33

Table 7: Semi-quantitative 5 x 5 risk matrix

Risk matrix Consequence

(where an event has more than one ‘consequence type’, choose the consequence type with the highest rating)

Consequence type 1 – Insignificant 2 – Minor 3 – Moderate 4 – High 5 – Major

Exposure to health Exposure to health Exposure to Exposure to health Exposure to health

hazard resulting hazard resulting health hazards/ hazards/agents hazards/agents
in temporary in symptoms agents (over the (significantly over (significantly over
discomfort requiring medical OEL) resulting in the OEL) resulting the OEL) resulting
intervention and reversible impact in irreversible in irreversible
full recovery (no on health (with impact on health impact on health
lost time) lost time) or with loss of quality with loss of
permanent change of life or single quality of life of a
with no disability fatality numerous group/
or loss of quality population or
of life multiple fatalities

Likelihood Risk rating

5– The unwanted
almost event has occurred
certain frequently, occurs
11 16 20 23 25
1 year in order of one or
(Medium) (Significant) (Significant) (High) (High)
more times per
year and is likely
to reoccur within
1 year
4– The unwanted
likely event has occurred
3 years infrequently,
occurs in order of 7 12 17 21 24
less than once per (Medium) (Medium) (Significant) (High) (High)
year and is likely
to reoccur within
3 years
3– The unwanted
possible event has
10 years happened at some 4 8 13 18 22
time or could (Low) (Medium) (Significant) (Significant) (High)
happen within
10 years
2– The unwanted
unlikely event has
30 years happened at some 2 5 9 14 19
time or could (Low) (Low) (Medium) (Significant) (Significant)
happen within
30 years
1– The unwanted
rare >30 event has never
years been known to
1 3 6 10 15
occur or it is highly
(Low) (Low) (Medium) (Medium) (Significant)
unlikely that it will
occur within
30 years
34 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

3.3 The majority of exposure standards for Therefore, exposure standards

airborne contaminants are expressed for these substances represent a
Deciding health risk as a TWA concentration over an maximum exposure to which workers
acceptability entire eight-hour working shift and may be exposed. It is recognised
a 40 hour working week. During the that there are analytical limitations
The control of occupational health averaging period, excursions above to measurement of ‘peak limitation’
hazards is guided by occupational the TWA standard are allowed, exposure standards but a single
exposure limits and standards, each provided these excursions are determination should not exceed
of which represents a concentration of balanced by equivalent excursions 15 minutes.
a particular stressor in the workplace below the standard during the shift.
exposure that, according to current Because some substances can give Some substances cause acute effects
knowledge, should not cause adverse rise to acute health effects even after upon brief exposure, even though
health effects nor cause undue brief exposure to high concentrations, the major toxic effects may be due
discomfort to nearly all workers. If the it is prudent that excursions above to long-term exposure through
standard is exceeded, then the risk is TWA concentration are restricted. accumulation of substance in the body
deemed to be unacceptable. or gradual health impairment with
Short-term exposure limits (OEL- repeated exposures. Exposures should
Exposure limits can be provided in one STELs) are useful exposure standards be controlled to avoid both acute and
of three categories: to complement TWA exposure chronic health effects.
• time-weighted average (TWA) standards. OEL-STELs provide
• occupational exposure limit – short guidelines for the control of short- It should be understood that exposure
term exposure limit (OEL-STEL) term exposures as opposed to the standards are not finite values dividing
total intake over relative long periods safe and unsafe exposures and should
• occupational exposure limit – ceiling
of time. Application of OEL-STELs be regarded as target concentrations.
limit (OEL-C)
generally minimise the risk of: They are really guides for use in the
• intolerable irritation control of potential health problems,
Occupational exposure limits are
and thus the true target should be
guidelines to be used in the control • chronic or irreversible tissue change
zero. The ultimate aim is to eliminate
of occupational hazards by • narcosis to an extent that could or control exposure to all occupational
professional occupational hygienists. cause or initiate industrial health stressors likely to adversely
They should not be regarded as accidents. affect health. The application to
accurate levels dividing safe from
situations outside the norm, such as
dangerous concentrations or levels OEL-STELs are expressed as airborne 12-hour shifts, for which they were
of health stressors. They are not a concentrations of substances, not designed, could lead to illness,
measure of relative risk and should averaged over a period of 15 minutes. disability or death.
not be applied in the control of Concentrations greater that the OEL
community air pollution. They are but below the OEL-STEL should not
largely based on the concept of exceed 15 minutes in duration and
threshold intoxication, but not all should not occur greater than 4 times
chemicals and physical agents are per day. A minimum of 60 minutes
based on toxicity. should elapse between successive
exposures at OEL-STEL concentration.
The TWA over the course of a day
must still be respected.

OEL-C is the concentration that

should not be exceeded during any
part of the working exposure.
For some rapidly acting substances
and irritants, the TWA concentration is
inappropriate as acute effects can be
induced after relative brief exposures.
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 35

3.4 Figure 5: Control identification decision tree

Identifying and managing

effective controls

What is a control?
Is it a human act,
Once the exposures have been object or system? NO
estimated by hazard, by SEG and
by Control measures are the acts,
objects or technological systems that
help to eliminate or reduce the levels
of hazardous exposure.

A control either prevents the release

of the hazard or mitigates the
consequences of its release. There are
Does it prevent or
three ‘zones’ where control measures NO
mitigate an unwanted Not a control
can be applied: event?
• at the source of the stressor
• along the transmission path
• at the worker. YES

This is graphically illustrated in

Figure 5, which is taken from ICMM’s
Health and safety critical control
management: good practice guide Is performance
specified, observable, NO
measurable and


A control

Source: adapted from Hassall, M, Joy, J, Doran, C and Punch, M (2015).

Selection and optimisation of risk controls. ACARP report no C23007.
Available at (accessed 31 October 2016).

‘It should be understood

that exposure standards
are not finite values
dividing safe and unsafe
exposures and should
be regarded as target
36 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

Hierarchy of control Though personal protective equipment mobile equipment plays a large role in
should only be used as a last improving operator comfort, reducing
There are several levels of control
resort, it can be a valuable addition exposure to noise, dust, muscular
measures that can be put in place to
to any hazard control programme stresses and extreme temperatures
deal with adverse exposures. These
and, in some instances, may be and reducing fatigue. Work refuge
are generally termed the hierarchy
the only effective option. When it stations or cabins can be used in a
of control. In order of reliability,
is used, it should be associated variety of locations to isolate workers
effectiveness and likelihood of
with a well-planned programme of from hazards such as dust, noise,
reducing exposures they are:
training, routine maintenance and chemicals and heat.
• elimination replacement.
• substitution Administration (including training
• source or process modification The following are examples of how the and education)
hierarchy of control might work in a Making changes to work procedures,
• automation
specific instance. for example restricting when work is
• engineering (including isolation/
carried out or the number of hours
containment/enclosure) Elimination worked, more frequent rotation of
• administration (including education Remove a major emission source of tasks and work permits to allow
and training) particulates and various gases by workers into designated areas, can
• personal protective equipment. replacing diesel- powered equipment reduce exposure to hazards. Education
with electrically powered equipment. and training to understand hazards
Ideally, all hazards would be This completely prevents the release and the measures taken to combat
eliminated from the workplace, but of the hazard since the hazard no them are also important, especially
in practice, most controls fall into the longer exists. where health hazards are linked to
engineering category and below, since the proper use of equipment or a
elimination and substitution, by their Substitution particular task, for example manual
nature, fundamentally alter the risk. Electrically powered tools such as handling.
A mixture of ‘lower level’ controls rock drills can emit lower levels of
in the hierarchy of control will be noise and vibration than pneumatically Personal protective equipment
applied. For example, while education powered ones. Automation options The use of personal protective
and training approaches alone are could also be considered under equipment, for example hearing
unlikely to achieve adequate control, substitution controls. protection devices, face masks, body
they are usually an essential element suits, etc, can also protect workers
in ensuring that other measures Engineering (including isolation) from noise, dust and chemical
are applied and used correctly. Engineering controls fall into two exposures. However, this can never
The hierarchy of control can be categories: those that prevent release be regarded as an effective control
applied to all health hazards, and of the hazard and those that reduce as its effectiveness is very dependent
one or more control measures from exposure. Prevention of release acts on the user.
the different levels usually need to be on the source of the hazard
put in place (ie multilevel controls). whereas reduction of exposure acts
However, not all the levels of control on the hazard itself. For example,
are applicable to every potential health prevention of dust creation acts on
hazard. An iterative process of the source whereas wetting of dust
reviewing hazards and controls should acts on the dust. In some areas such
be implemented to ensure that a as ore processing plants, enclosures
continuous drive ‘up’ the hierarchy around screens and other noisy
of control is embedded in the equipment can reduce noise levels
operational culture. in the remainder of the plant.
Vibration-reducing mountings and
damping can reduce both vibration
and noise levels. The cabin design on
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 37

Key questions to consider when Managing the effectiveness of the equipment to provide
assessing control measures controls appropriate protection and to suit
the individual’s facial
Existing control measures can be No matter how good the controls
characteristics. It will also include
either assessed directly on their ability applied to solve a particular problem,
fit checking and quantitative
to eliminate or reduce the levels of they can only be effective if they are
fit testing to ensure appropriate
exposure through the measurement used, and used properly. They also
protection as well as information,
of exposures with and without control need to be properly maintained and
instruction and training on the
measures, or they can be inferred managed effectively.
wearing, cleaning and maintenance.
indirectly from existing information,
for example previous exposure There are many examples where • Emergency procedures for dealing
measurements, the walk-through expensive control measures are with leaks, spills, failure of controls,
survey and any available health installed only for them to remain etc.
records. unused, used infrequently, used • Good housekeeping practices,
• What are the current standards incorrectly or poorly maintained, to minimise accumulation of
used to determine the level and thereby rendering them ineffective. contaminants.
nature of the control measures? Management measures therefore
need to be put into place to ensure Finally, the effectiveness of the control
• Are there existing control measures
that the controls continue to work strategy as a whole should be checked
for processes, tasks and areas with
effectively. Such measures are likely by periodic reassessment and
high levels of exposure to hazards?
to include: exposure monitoring if appropriate –
Have these control measures been
• Supervision to ensure that the closing the loop on the management
set up, operated and maintained
procedures are followed. cycle.
• Are there high levels of exposure • Maintenance to ensure that
despite the control measures in engineering controls continue to
place functioning effectively? operate effectively.
• Are working practices and the use of • Testing of controls which should
control measures different from that apply to organisational measures
prescribed by workplace protocols as well as engineering controls.
and guidance? In the case of engineering controls,
such as local exhaust ventilation,
• Are control measures part of an
ongoing maintenance programme?
this will require regular visual ‘No matter how good
• Is there a regular assessment of the
checks and a thorough examination the controls applied
effectiveness of controls?
and testing at least annually.
to solve a particular
• Air monitoring and health
surveillance, which are, effectively,
problem, they can only
Rating control measures
additional checks on the be effective if they
Control measures can be rated in a effectiveness of controls. are used, and used
similar way to exposures with a scale • Information, instruction and training properly.’
that classifies the level of inadequacy to ensure workers know why the
of the control measures currently in controls are needed, how to use
place and the potential need for action them correctly, procedures for
to remedy this. reporting faults, etc. For example,
workers should be trained in the
hazards of the materials, the
procedures and control measures
necessary and how to use them
effectively. In the case of respiratory
protective equipment, for example,
this will include careful selection of
38 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Assessment continued

3.5 The bow tie is a useful way of

organising controls, the threats to
The bow-tie analysis – putting it them and the consequences of failure
all together in a graphical format that shows which
controls are preventive and which are
Introduction used for mitigation of the consequence.
The bow-tie analysis is a method for The process of formulating a bow tie
identifying and reviewing controls also helps to identify the pivot point at
intended to prevent or mitigate a which prevention is most effective, and
specific unwanted event. It combines this becomes the MUE (usually release
fault tree analysis with event tree of the hazard rather than an outcome
analysis in one easy-to-use diagram. of release).
The name bow tie comes from the
shape of the diagram, which arranges Bow ties are useful especially in
the hazards to the left of an unwanted aiding the development of a critical
event and the consequences of that control regime for an MUE. Below is a ‘The process of
event on the right with the unwanted brief description on how to conduct a formulating a bow tie
event becoming the knot of the tie. bow-tie analysis. However, additional
guidance can be found in ICMM’s
also helps to identify
There are numerous references to the
use of the bow-tie method in health Health and safety critical control the pivot point at
and safety but these almost all only management: good practice guide which prevention is
deal with safety-related outcomes. (2015). most effective’

Figure 6: Bow-tie diagram indicating preventive and mitigating controls


Cause Consequence
Control Control

Cause Consequence
Control Control
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 39

How to conduct the bow-tie analysis 7. Identify the controls for the threats
to the controls. The principle is one
1. Identify the hazard, the sources
of building multiple layers of control
and its consequences (this comes
and redundancy in the system.
from the baseline and issues-
based HRA), for example silica dust
8. Identify the indicators for failure of
and pneumoconiosis. The hazard
the controls. These may be regarded
sits on the far left of the diagram
as incidents for the purposes of
and the consequences on the far
investigation and can vary from
direct measurements of the
hazardous agent and health effects
2. Decide on the MUE, for example
seen at medical surveillance to
release of the hazard/critical control
proxies such as pipeline pressures
failure. This is at the centre of the
and voltage draw on motors.
diagram and is the point at the end
of the fault tree and beginning of
Creating the bow tie is an iterative
the event tree. All controls beyond
process that may involve changing
this point are mitigation or recovery
the MUE as the process unfolds.
from the event.
Controls initially thought to be
preventive may actually be recovery
3. Assess the threats. The threats are
(mitigation) as understanding of the
factors on the left of the MUE that
management process develops.
potentially result in the event
(release of the hazard), for example
crushing process and transfer
points on a conveyor (those factors
that result in generation of dust).
‘The bow tie is a useful
4. Identify the controls. Controls are way of organising
measures that are put in place to controls, the threats
manage a threat. Controls can be to them and the
found on both sides of the MUE with
those on the left being preventive
consequences of
and those on the right being failure in a graphical
recovery or mitigation, that is they format that shows
reduce or limit the severity of the which controls are
preventive and which
5. Identify the critical controls. In HRA are used for mitigation
a critical control can be defined as of the consequence.’
a control that prevents significant
release of the hazard.

6. Identify threats to the controls.

These are conditions that lead to
failure of the controls. These may
be mechanical, abnormal operating
conditions, behavioural (switching
off or overriding), operating outside
design parameters, etc.
40 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 41

Analysis and
42 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Analysis and reporting

4.1 • be kept for at least 30 years or as
long as required by national laws
Documenting and as these records will enable the
communicating HRA evaluation of individual health
effects and the accurate
Introduction assessment of future insurance
Maintaining systematic and accurate or liability claims for chronic health
records of the HRA and the priorities risks.
for action – as well as communicating
the findings – are vital for ensuring Communicating the HRA
that progress is made in reducing The findings of the HRA should be
exposures and developing a zero harm communicated to all staff as part of
culture in the workplace. Maintaining a hazard and risk communication
an auditable trail of information also programme so that the risks,
facilitates future evaluations and uncertainties and the need for further
assessments of the workplace risks measures, including additional
to health. resources, are understood and agreed.
This could be through email, company
Maintaining systematic and accurate intranet, company newsletter, bulletin
HRA records on a notice board and worker health
A written record of an HRA should and safety meetings.
be kept in a format that is decided
on by the organisation based on It is also imperative that training ‘The findings of
materials are updated when there is
legal requirements, especially when
significant risks have been identified. new information from an HRA.
the HRA should be
The record serves as a point of When new control measures are communicated to
reference to indicate the information identified, they should become part of all staff as part of
and criteria used in the decision- the existing monitoring programme. a hazard and risk
making process. Regardless of the
outcome of the assessment, reliable
information should be available to programme so
defend judgments. These records that the risks,
should: uncertainties and
• contain sufficient information to the need for further
ensure an audit trail on how the
HRA was undertaken, the rationale
measures, including
for the approach used and how additional resources,
conclusions were arrived at are understood
• include the findings of any exposure and agreed.’
monitoring and health surveillance
• include the findings and action
taken regarding the reporting and
investigation of incidents
• meet legal and organisational
• be readily retrievable when needed,
for example for internal/external
audits, review by local or national
authorities or periodic internal
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 43

4.2 Quality assurance of HRAs

Review and quality assurance Individual HRAs should be fully
of the HRA Within their quality assurance plans,
companies and business units should
Introduction have procedures in place to ensure
that the requirements of current
It is important to quality assure best practice in relation to assessing
and progressively improve the health risks are being met. The HRA
quality of the HRA process and the process and individual HRAs should
documentation of the HRA process be regularly audited and appraised
over time. This can be done at the through a process of internal and
level of the individual HRA as well as independent external auditing.
a business unit and organisational
level through the health management
The scope of such an audit could
‘Any significant change
• the management system for
that may have an
conducting and implementing HRAs impact on health risks,
Review of HRAs
• the resources available to carry out including changes in
Individual HRAs should be fully and implement HRAs the work processes
reviewed and revised every three to
five years at a minimum. Where, for • the quantity and quality of HRA and activities or in
instance, the UK Health and Safety records the understanding of
Executive (HSE) annual reports are • remedial actions taken following specific hazards and
published, these require updates HRAs
risks, should trigger a
on the progress of HSE and HRA
action plans. Any significant change
• the effectiveness and maintenance
of controls
review of the HRA’
that may have an impact on health • learning from incidents
risks, including changes in the work
processes and activities or in the • areas of non-compliance with
understanding of specific hazards and occupational exposure limits
risks, should trigger a review of the • the documentation of work and
HRA. Subsequently, there should be health histories
a review of any new control measures • evaluation of the quality of the HRA
put in place. by experienced and independent
occupational health and hygiene

The ICMM Sustainable Development

Framework requires third party
assurance in a number of areas,
and a specific procedure has
been established to assist ICMM
company members in meeting their
commitments. It is recommended
that any external assurance for
HRAs should be developed with
consideration of the overall corporate
assurance procedure.
44 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Analysis and reporting continued

4.3 Definition of HIA Sometimes the indirect impacts

include unexpected negative effects
Links between HRA and health The Gothenburg definition of HIA
on health, although many of these
impact assessment is ‘a combination of procedures,
can be avoided by careful planning.
methods and tools by which a policy,
Adverse health impacts are most
Introduction programme or project may be judged
likely to affect the most vulnerable
as to its potential effects on the health
When carrying out an initial social groups, and this may serve to
of a population, and the distribution of
assessment of health-related risks at amplify the overall adverse effects.
those effects within the population’.10
a site associated with a new project or Such impacts can reduce the social
a major modification, prior to closure and economic benefits expected from
HIA is the systematic analysis of
of an existing project or prior to mine industrial development.
the differential health and well-
or operation closure, it is important being impacts of proposed plans,
to consider the health impacts on the Experience shows that the
programmes and projects so
local community and wider society. environmental and social impact
that positive health impacts are
An assessment that assesses these assessment (ESIA) often does not
maximised and negative health
types of risks or impacts is referred pay due attention to the health
impacts minimised within an affected
to as a health impact assessment component. HIA offers an opportunity
community. It works within an explicit
(HIA). This is a separate assessment to identify health hazards in advance,
value framework that promotes an
to an HRA though there can often and to coordinate with ESIA activities.
assessment process that maximises
be important overlaps in the health The analysis of community health
the health of a population and is
risks faced by workers of a mining risks provides an opportunity both
democratic, equitable, sustainable
or metals operation and surrounding to implement risk controls and
and ethical in its use of evidence.
communities. Occupational HRAs to incorporate health-promoting
assess the potential health risks or measures.
HIA is, therefore, about health
impacts ‘within the fence’ of a mining protection, health improvement and
and metals operation. HIAs assess health equity/inequality.
the potential health risks or impacts
‘outside the fence’ that are linked to When are HIAs conducted?
the operation.
HIAs are generally conducted where a
Please also see the companion ICMM project or operation has the potential
report Good practice guidance on to impact on the health of the local
health impact assessment (2010). communities living nearby and before
the project or operation is started.
This can be a separate assessment
but is now more usually undertaken as
part of an integrated environmental,
social and health impact assessment.

The potential impacts on human

health of industrial development
are numerous and cut across many
specialist concerns. Most industrial
development projects are expected to
have an indirect beneficial effect on
health by increasing the resources
available for food, education,
employment, water supplies,
sanitation and health services.

10. The Gothenburg consensus paper on health impact assessment (1999) was the product of a joint effort
between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the European Centre for Health Policy
and has been adopted worldwide (WHO European Centre for Health Policy (1999). ‘Health impact
assessment: main concepts and suggested approach’, Gothenburg consensus paper, December 1999.
Brussels: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Available at (accessed 31 October 2016)).
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 45

HIA methodology
HIA follows a similar methodology to
ESIA. The HIA process is generally
made up of eight overlapping stages:
• screening
• scoping
• baseline and community profiling,
evidence gathering
• stakeholder involvement
• analysis of impacts
• developing mitigation and
enhancement measures and/or
‘HIA is the systematic
making recommendations analysis of the
• writing the HIA statement and differential health
presenting to decision-makers and well-being
• follow-up (monitoring of the health impacts of proposed
impacts and evaluation of the HIA plans, programmes
and projects so that
Though the steps above are presented positive health impacts
as linear, HIA tends to be an iterative are maximised and
process where findings and issues negative health
that emerge in later steps mean
that earlier steps are revisited and
impacts minimised
the scope and analysis amended within an affected
accordingly. community.’
Benefits of the HIA
Just as HRA demonstrates the value
and care an organisation has for its
workers, so HIA demonstrates an
organisation’s care and concern for
the welfare of the local communities.
HIA can help to structure the thinking
about how best to support, alongside
local and national governments, the
health and well-being of local people.
46 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition

Sources of further information

BSI (2007). ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).

BS OHSAS 18001:2007. Occupational health and safety HERAG Fact Sheet 2. Assessment of occupational
management systems. Requirements. Occupational Health inhalation exposure and systemic inhalation absorption.
and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS). London: ICMM.

BSI (2008). ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).

BS OHSAS 18002:2008. Occupational health and safety HERAG Fact Sheet 3. Indirect exposure via the environment
management systems. Guidelines for the implementation and consumer exposure. London: ICMM.
of OHSAS 18001:2007.
ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
Emery, AC (2005). HERAG Fact Sheet 4. Gastrointestinal uptake and
Good practice in emergency preparedness and response. absorption, and catalogue of toxicokinetic models.
London: ICMM. London: ICMM.
Available at
(accessed 31 October 2016). ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
HERAG Fact Sheet 5. Mutagenicity. London: ICMM.
Gray, GM, Jeffery, WG and Marchant, GE (2001).
Risk assessment and risk management of non-ferrous ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
metals: realizing the benefits and controlling the risks. HERAG Fact Sheet 6. Quality screening procedures for
Ottawa: International Council on Metals and the health effects literature. London: ICMM.
Available at ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
(accessed 31 October 2016). HERAG Fact Sheet 7. Essentiality. London: ICMM.

Guild, R, Ehrlich, RI, Johnston, JR and Ross, MH (eds) ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
(2001). HERAG Fact Sheet 8. Choice of assessment factors in
Handbook on occupational health practice in the South health risk assessment for metals. London: ICMM.
African mining industry.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Safety in Mines Research ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007).
Advisory Committee. HERAG: Health Risk Assessment Guidance for Metals.
Available at London: ICMM.
(accessed 31 October 2016). ICMM and Institute of Environment and Health (2007).
The setting and use of occupational exposure limits:
ICMM (2010). current practice.
Good practice guidance on health impact assessment. London: ICMM.
London: ICMM.
International Council on Metals and the Environment
ICMM (2015). (1999).
Critical control management implementation guide. Guide to data gathering systems for risk assessment of
London: ICMM. metals and metal compounds.
Ottawa: International Council on Metals and the
ICMM (2015). Environment.
Health and safety critical control management: Available at
good practice guide. (accessed 31 October 2016).
London: ICMM.
International Finance Corporation (2007).
ICMM, EBRC, Eurofer and Eurometaux (2007). Environmental, health and safety guidelines for mining.
HERAG Fact Sheet 1. Assessment of occupational dermal Available at
exposure and dermal absorption for metals and inorganic IFC-Environmental-Health-and-Safey-Guidelines.pdf
metal compounds. London: ICMM. (accessed 31 October 2016).
Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition 47


ALARP as low as reasonably practicable

BTA bow-tie analysis

ESIA environmental and social impact assessment

HIA health impact assessment

HRM health risk management

HRA health risk assessment

HSE Health and Safety Executive

ICMM International Council on Mining and Metals

MFL maximum foreseeable loss

MUE material unwanted event

OEL occupational exposure limit

SEG similar exposure group

STEL short-term exposure limit

TWA time-weighted average

48 Good practice guidance on occupational health risk assessment – second edition


The development of this guidance ICMM members Consulting team

would not have been possible
The development of the document ICMM is indebted to Dr Frank Fox who
without the input and support of the
was overseen by an ICMM working led the update of this good practice
individuals below. ICMM gratefully
group. ICMM is indebted to the guidance document.
acknowledges the following
following for their contributions to
the research and their engagement ICMM team
on iterative drafts, which led to the
Mark Holmes led the process to
final document:
develop this document on behalf of
Working group ICMM.
Cas Badenhorst, Anglo American
(Chair) Photographs
Stefaan van der Borght, Anglo © Anglo American: cover, inside
American front cover, p.3, p.11, p.21, pp.24–25,
Brian Chicksen, AngloGold Ashanti pp.40–41; Hydro: pp.16–17.
Emilie Lacroix, Areva
Aaron Weight, Barrick The team who developed the first
edition of the guidance document
Rob McDonald, BHP Billiton
Ruth Danzeisen, Cobalt Development
ICMM working group
Frank Fox, Anglo American (Chair)
Vanessa Viegas, Cobalt Development
Institute John McEndoo, AngloGold Ashanti
Violaine Verougstraete, Rob Barbour, Barrick
Eurometaux Tom Chism, Barrick
Corina Hebestreit, Euromines Dries Labuschagne, Chamber of
Stacy Kramer, Freeport-McMoRan Mines of South Africa
Rob Stepp, Freeport-McMoRan Violaine Verougstraete, Eurometaux
Stephen Eichstadt, Glencore Henry Moorcroft, Gold Fields
Philip Woodhouse, Gold Fields Christine Copley, ICMM
Fred Jansen, Mining Industry Mel Mentz, Lonmin
Association of Southern Africa Wes Leavitt, Newmont
(MIASA) Manoel Arruda, Rio Tinto
Tadakazu Kagami, Mitsubishi Selene Valverde, Vale
Mark Solomons, MMG Lead consultant
Martin Webb, MMG Salim Vohra, Institute of
Marie Sopko, Newmont Occupational Medicine
Sergey Dudin, Polyus Gold
Will Ponsonby, Rio Tinto
Maria Cristina Betancour, Sociedad
Nacional de Minería (SONAMI) –
Liam Gunning, South32
Lawrence Watkins, Teck
Corrine Balcaen, Teck

This publication contains general guidance

only and should not be relied upon as
a substitute for appropriate technical
expertise. While reasonable precautions
have been taken to verify the information
contained in this publication as at the date
of publication, it is being distributed without
warranty of any kind, either express or

In no event shall the International Council

on Mining and Metals (“ICMM”) (or its
affiliates or contributors, reviewers or
editors to this publication) be liable for
damages or losses of any kind, however
arising, from the use of, or reliance on
this document. The responsibility for the
interpretation and use of this publication
lies with the user (who should not assume
that it is error-free or that it will be suitable
for the user’s purpose) and ICMM assumes
no responsibility whatsoever for errors or
omissions in this publication or in other
source materials which are referenced by
this publication.

The views expressed do not necessarily

represent the decisions or the stated
policy of ICMM. This publication does not
constitute a position statement or other
mandatory commitment which members of
ICMM are obliged to adopt under the ICMM
Sustainable Development Framework.

We are not responsible for, and make no

representation on, the content or reliability
of linked websites, and linking should not
be taken as endorsement of any kind. We
have no control over the availability of linked
pages and accept no responsibility for them.

The designations employed and the

presentation of the material in this
publication do not imply the expression of
any opinion whatsoever on the part of ICMM
concerning the legal status of any country,
territory, city or area or of its authorities,
or concerning delimitation of its frontiers
or boundaries. In addition, the mention
of specific entities, individuals, source
materials, trade names or commercial
processes in this publication does not
constitute endorsement by ICMM.

This disclaimer should be construed in

accordance with the laws of England.
ICMM is an international organisation
dedicated to a safe, fair and
sustainable mining industry.
Bringing together 23 mining and
metals companies and 34 regional
and commodities associations we
strengthen environmental and
social performance.

We serve as a catalyst for change;

enhancing mining’s contribution
to society.

35/38 Portman Square
London W1H 6LR
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 20 7467 5070

Follow us: