New System for Classifying Mine Accidents

A new standard published by the International Organization for StandardizationISO 19434:2017, establishes a system for classifying mine accidents by their origin or causes, the type of accident, and their results or consequences on people.

According to ISO, a unified system to describe the main types of mining accidents will improve understanding of key issues such as the nature of injuries that occur, their location, and to what degree workers are affected. The new standard, which was developed by ISO/TC 82, the organization’s technical committee on mining, is intended to help stakeholders identify whether an accident occurred due to human error or other causes.

Seyed Reza Hosseini, convenor of the working group on the classification of mine accidents explained, “Until now, ISO mining standards mostly looked at safety features for machinery. ISO 19434 looks at the accidents themselves, giving each accident a code that indicates its causes and consequences.”

Hosseini added, “This International Standard defines not only the main types of accidents but, importantly, provides information about the nature of any injuries that have occurred, defining their location and to what degree personnel are affected.”

The standard defines different categories of causes, types, and consequences of mine accidents, and assigns each category a 3-digit code. ISO explains that these codes can be combined to allocate a unique 15-digit code to each type of mine accident. The allocated codes can be used in statistical analysis.

“By presenting a common understandable language for communication between all parts involved in safety, health, and environmental issues in mines, the hope is that working conditions can continue to improve across all operations in the mining sector,” ISO’s news release reads.