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Strengthening Health & Safety Advocacy: AusIMM Health & Safety Society's Plans for 2023

Nikky LaBranche MAusIMM(CP) Research Manager – Occupational Health & Safety, Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland
ยท 600 words, 2 min read

The AusIMM Health & Safety Society (HSS) is taking a proactive approach to support members in the industry.HSS-article-300.jpg

With a new committee in place and exciting initiatives planned, the HSS is dedicated to creating a safer and healthier working environment for everyone involved in mining. So, whether you're a Health & Safety Society member or not, read on to learn more about the HSS's mission and how you can get involved. 

Earlier this year the HSS committee held a strategy session and identified several initiatives to be implemented in 2023 to raise the profile of the HSS within the AusIMM and the wider industry. As part of the strategy, we have initiated a new call for elections, and I have been elected Chair, with Peter Standish as Vice-Chair and Darren Head as Treasurer. 

We believe that the HSS should be accessible to everyone, but currently, only 10 per cent of AusIMM members are HSS members. To better understand the needs of the AusIMM membership, we have sent out a questionnaire to gather feedback on what members would like to see from the society. This feedback will be used to identify potential topics for new initiatives, webinars and technical sessions, and any other input on what members would like to see from the HSS.

We have also identified the need for additional members on the committee to bring a wider range of perspectives and experiences to the table. We recently put out a call for nominations with an aim to attract members from diverse disciplines within the health and safety industry, including mental health, well-being, and occupational health. We firmly believe that a diverse membership base will enable the society to better represent, mentor, and advocate for professionals, creating a healthier and safer working environment for all members of AusIMM. The nomination period has closed and we hope to have the new member onboard soon. 

One of our important initiatives is to elevate the Jim Torlach Award, which recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to health and safety in the mining industry. We have already made this preference known to the committee currently reviewing all awards, that we would like to elevate the Jim Torlach Award back to its previous level as an independent award. 

We also plan to be more visible across the AusIMM and active with other communities of interest. We have started engaging with board members, other societies, and some of the local branches. We believe that closer engagement will help the membership better advocate for health and safety in the industry. We plan to create a list of potential speakers and topics on H&S-related matters. This list can be used for programming and shared with other Communities of Interest (COI) or branches. 

We have started a LinkedIn page for the Health & Safety Society and encourage you to follow us here. If you are not already a member of the Health & Safety Society, we would like to encourage you to tick the box and become part of the society. To do this, log into your profile on the AusIMM website, select 'My Interests', and tick the box for Health & Safety. 

The AusIMM Health & Safety Society is unwavering in its commitment to advocating for a safer and healthier working environment. With these initiatives, we aim to raise our profile within the AusIMM and the wider industry and continue to represent, mentor, and advocate for professionals. We thank you for your support, hope that you will tick the box, and look forward to working together towards a safer future.

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