Explosion expert to lead minerals safety centre

3 Apr 2011

Blasting the myth that explosion experts can only destroy, Professor David Cliff has been appointed as the new director of the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) at The University of Queensland.

An internationally regarded expert, Professor Cliff recently worked as an advisor for New Zealand Police on their rescue and recovery operation at the Pike River coal mine disaster.

Professor Cliff, who succeeds Professor Jim Joy, will focus on building safety and improving emergency management at mine sites, areas in which the Centre has a global reputation.

”Although not perfect, the Australian safety system is one of the best in the world,” he said.

“The MISHC is set to expand its work in this area, and will place emphasis on undertaking applied research into the health and safety problems facing the mining and minerals processing industry.”

In addition to the established areas of Human Factors and Risk Management, Professor Cliff will be building upon his research in improving emergency preparedness and management.

“As recent events have shown there is an urgent need for improvement in the mines’ capacities to respond to emergencies, quickly and efficiently,” Professor Cliff said.

Working with MISHC since 2001 and with over 21 years experience in the health and safety mining industry, Professor Cliff is well equipped to drive the initiative forward.

“MISHC is internationally recognised as the pre-eminent centre for minerals industry risk management education,” he said.

“In my role as Director I am hoping to create more opportunities for students to gain hands on experience in this vital part of the resources sector.”

MISHC is one of six centres which make up the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) within The University of Queensland.

SMI works collaboratively with the resources sector throughout the world to deliver knowledge based solutions for the sustainability challenges of the global resources industry.

MISHC is a good example of this approach and through its industry partners has developed a range of tools to assist the resources sector manage its safety and health risks.