1.1 Scope and background

Hazardous materials management is one of 17 themes in the Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry. The program aims to identify the key issues affecting sustainable development in the mining industry and to provide information that identifies sustainable approaches for the industry. The focus of this book is occupational health and safety as well as environmental issues associated with hazardous materials, such as minerals, process chemicals, dangerous goods, radioactive materials and wastes. The book has been written as a primary resource document with links to the many websites on legislation, guidelines and industry best practice.

Leading practice sustainable development management is an evolving discipline. It is important that it be flexible in developing solutions that match site-specific requirements. Although there are underpinning principles, leading practice is as much an approach and an attitude as a fixed set of practices or a particular technology.

The primary audience for this handbook is people working in mining, exploration and mineral processing who will come into contact with hazardous materials through their work activities. People with an interest in leading practice in the mining industry who will also find this information valuable include regulators, staff of non-government organisations, mining communities and students. It has been written to encourage people to play a critical role in continuously improving the mining industry’s sustainable development performance.

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