A system safety approach provides an overview of the overall effectiveness of the safety controls that extends beyond the machines and can be a useful qualitative tool for operations when assessing the overall safety of their systems. This type of systems approach is especially important as highly autonomous and highly integrated solutions evolve.
In 2021, GMG published the System Safety for Autonomous Mining White Paper, an introductory overview of some system safety concepts to consider when introducing autonomous systems in mining. It addressed topics that GMG participants consider important in achieving the goals of safe implementation, such as a system safety lifecycle, risk management, safety case, human-systems integration, and software safety management. The white paper was always intended to be a first step in providing industry guidance and understanding on system safety because the topic was still new to mining.
Now that the industry is becoming more advanced in this space, this new guideline project aims to provide more complete guidance on applying system safety to autonomous systems in mining.
The scope of the guideline is still to be confirmed, but potential topics it could cover include:
Further detail on the topics covered in the white paper (see above)
Good practices for applying system safety principles to non-deterministic systems
Considerations for mixed and multi-vendor fleets, such as identification of protocols and their uses and discussion on responsibilities.
Good practices and considerations in software safety management (e.g., training, software release management, access management, recovery procedures)
Management of cyber-risks and protection against cyber-attacks as they relate to safely applying autonomous systems in mining
Discussions on the applicability of risk assessment tools and different aspects of safety analysis
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We’re looking for:
participants to contribute expertise and knowledge as subject matter experts
members to join the steering committee to lead the project