This project, launched by the Autonomous Mining Working Group, is to develop a white paper that aims to provide valuable context and education about system safety to enable safety and operational effectiveness throughout all phases of the autonomous system lifecycle. 


System safety uses a system-based approach and the application of engineering and management principles, mechanisms and techniques to optimize safety. This white paper aims to provide valuable context and education about system safety to enable safety and operational effectiveness throughout all phases of the system lifecycle. 

The objective of the white paper is to give the industry the confidence to apply a system safety approach to delivering automation in mining. This approach will, in turn, will help to make sure that the right systems are built in order to support the ongoing evolution of safe autonomous technologies. This white paper covers the following topics:

Provides a visual representation of an example of what a system safety lifecycle could look like for an application of autonomous systems in mining.

System Safety Management:
Provides an overview of applying a system safety approach by describing an example of a lifecycle and offering further considerations about hazard identification and risk assessment and non-deterministic systems.

Safety Case:
Defines the purpose of a safety case in the context of autonomous systems in mining and some of the typical contents within one.

Human-Systems Integration:
Describes the significance of eliminating or controlling risks to humans and the environment over the course of a system’s lifecycle.

Software Safety Management:
Provides context on some factors that influence the degree of risk reduction that can be considered for a software-based safety control in the development and operation of autonomous systems.




  • Guideline for Applying Functional Safety to Autonomous Systems in Mining published
  • As functional safety is a small piece of safety management, further work was needed on system safety to make sure the industry is developing a mechanism that will support complex autonomous systems and intelligent mining solutions.

Next Step (2021)

  • The project group identified the need for a follow-up guideline project on system safety.


Currently the project has completed final review, and is close to publication. You can contribute by sharing the white paper with your company, and getting involved in future projects on system safety. Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch with more details!


    2021 May | White Paper review

    After a thorough review of the software safety management section, the white paper was sent out for a broad review, moving it one step closer to publication. Click here to view the estimated timeline to publication.

    2021 March | Software Safety Management section

    This final section was drafted and began going through a reviewal process by subject matter experts in February. With that process being close to finished, the next step will be to send the document for review to the wider project group.

    2021 Jan | Steering Committee met again to review and finalize each section

    All sections were completed with the software section section still needing finalization.

    2020 AND EARLIER

    2020 Nov | Steering Committee revised the structure

    Each section was assigned to champions to revise and peer review the content.

    2020 Oct | White paper is under Steering Committee review

    Due to the high engagement of volunteers and existing amount of content that was contributed to this white paper project, the steering committee can now begin to review the content. The next phase of the project should begin in November.

    2020 Sept | Project calls and team 

    Six project calls were held during September, in which volunteers were hands on the guideline, constantly contributing content and sharing resources. Key topics include benefits and limitations of different system safety tools, elements of the system safety process, hazard list, and more.

    2020 Aug | Enrollment to subgroups

    GMG divided the project into four subgroups, and reached out to those with an interest in participating to enroll to the subgroup(s) of their expertise.

    2020 Jul | Project was presented to the Autonomous Mining Working Group

    During the last virtual meeting, the project was presented to share the most relevant information gathered from the workshops. The draft is underway the team is seeking volunteers for content development. If you have experience, please contact GMG to participate.

    2020 Jun | Virtual workshop for System Safety

    Participants expanded on topics and comments provided by the last workshop. Key advancements include creation of the System Safety tools table, expansion on the Human Factors table and outline for Lifecycle Approach. To access the outcomes of the workshop and review live document, please contact any GMG staff and become part of the project team.

    2020 May | Virtual workshop for System Safety

    All previous feedback got reviewed by the Project Leaders and incorporated into the draft. Volunteer participated in the second workshop to work on sections about Safety Case, Evidence and Risk Management; Human Factors and Competence; and Lifecycle and system safety with OEMS and Integration.To access the outcomes of the workshop and review live document, please contact any GMG staff and become part of the project team.

    2020 Apr | Virtual workshop for System Safety

    Participants gathered to define the content that need to be added to the guideline and scanned through the document. Key topics included defining ‘System Safety’, success factors and value of system safety. Please contact any GMG staff and become part of the project team.

    2019 Sept | Launch workshop held in Brisbane, Australia

    A workshop was held in Brisbane, Australia to strategize and define the roadmap towards the elaboration of the white paper, and periodic working calls are being scheduled among those involved. If you are a professional with experience in system safety and would like to become an active contributor, please reach out to any GMG staff