Safety First: the Parker Centre's Safety Policy

Important Note - Wind-up and Closure of Parker Centre

The Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions completed its term on 30 June 2012 and then entered a wind-up phase.

Parker Centre ceased operations on 31 October 2012 and Curtin University was appointed as the Centre Agent.

The following information was current at 30 June 2012.



The Parker Centre's Safety Policy is aligned with the safety practices and culture of the minerals industry and integrates with the policies of the Centre's Research Participants (see below for links).

The minerals industry places the highest priority on safety. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), which represents the Australian exploration, mining and minerals processing industry and whose member companies produce more than 85% of Australia’s minerals output, states that “The industry understands the responsibility it carries in delivering long-term economic and social benefits to all Australians without compromising safety and health,…” (MCA 2005 Annual Report).

If the Parker Centre is to continue to service the minerals industry, it needs to have a high standard of safety performance, and safety practices and culture that are acceptable to the Centre’s Participants and clients. The legal responsibility for occupational health, safety and environment lies primarily with the Centre’s Research Participants because they employ the Centre’s staff and provide the facilities used for the Centre’s research activities.

However, the Parker Centre has developed its own safety policy and systems to engender a recognisable safety culture within the Centre. This is also an opportunity to extend the cooperation between the Centre’s Participants beyond science to include safety.

As part of the Safety Policy, an appropriate safety assessment and risk management plan must be completed and lodged with the Centre’s Administration before funding is approved for all Parker Centre projects funded in full or in part by the CRC Programme.

The Centre's policy for project safety ensures that collaborations involving staff movements between the Research Participants can take place under circumstances acceptable to the institutions.

The Safety Policy and the safety systems are authorised by the Parker Centre’s Board: the policy was re-endorsed by the Board in March 2004.

The Parker Centre's Safety Policy is:

  • A core value of the Parker Centre is the health and safety of all staff, students, contractors, customers and visitors associated with its activities.
  • Health, safety and management of the environment are an integral part of good science and good business practice.
  • The Centre will actively work to ensure that all hazards associated with its work are identified, assessed and controlled.
  • Consultation and cooperation with stakeholders will be a key approach to achieving safety and environmental performance that meets and, where appropriate, exceeds the expectation of its partners, customers and the community and always meets legal obligations.
  • The Centre's Research Participants will provide all staff and students of the Centre with the resources and training to enable them to meet their obligations to achieve an excellent safety and environmental performance.
  • Centre management will regularly monitor achievements and recommend improvements where needed.

Other initiatives to support a Centre-wide safety culture include:

  • Safety is a standing item on the agendas for the Parker Centre’s Board and Executive Committee meetings.
  • The Parker Centre Safety Committee, which comprises senior safety staff from the Centre’s Research Participants, has identified and implemented specific safety initiatives.
  • The Centre’s Industry Participants and clients play an active role in the Centre’s safety program. Representatives from BHP Billiton and Hatch Associates participated in the annual facilities inspection at CSIRO Minerals’ Waterford (WA) site in 2006. Other of the Centre’s Research Participants have expressed interest in accepting offers from these and other Centre Industry Participants to contribute to similar inspections.
  • Safety representatives at each of the Research Participants regularly report incidents/accidents to the Centre’s Administration. After approval by the reporting organisation, a summary of each report is sent to all members of the Centre. This rapid dissemination of information (and any resulting feedback with useful suggestions) contributes to expanding safety knowledge and focus for all staff and students.
  • The CEO participates in Research Participants’ safety inspections.
  • The Research Participants share such material as risk assessment forms and HazOps assessments.
  • A section on safety performance is required in quarterly reports for CRC-funded projects.
  • Safety posters promulgating the Centre’s safety policy and providing general safety hints have been distributed for display in work areas at the Research Participants. Examples are below.

Parker Centre safety poster 1:

Before you start any project, experiment or work program Before you start any project, experiment or work program (35 KB)

Parker Centre safety poster 2:

Developing safe work practices Developing safe work practices (36 KB)

In addition, to ensure an effective interface with clients’ safety systems, the Centre is progressing working more closely with its Industry Participants to address the potential challenges Centre staff face in engaging with different safety systems when on clients’ sites.

Links to safety websites of the Centre's Research Participants:

CSIRO Minerals: Occupational Health, Safety and Environment

Curtin University: Occupational Safety and Health

Murdoch University: Occupational Safety and Health

University of Queensland: Occupational Health & Safety

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