SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of special areas in ensuring excavation stability 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256859  Demonstrate an understanding of special areas in ensuring excavation stability 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of special areas in ensuring excavation stability in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

Persons credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the methods used to identify and designate special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of providing notification of special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the members and functions of a special areas committee. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of special areas. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The definition of special areas is provided in accordance with operating code of practice guidelines. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The reasons for designating special areas are provided in accordance with operating codes of practice. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Increased risk of rock-related incidence in normal operating workings.
  • Abnormally high closure rates.
  • Higher than normal stress profiles and stress fracturing.
  • Non-compliance to operational standards.
  • Anomalous geotechnical regimes or ground control districts.
  • Remnants.
  • Shaft pillar extractions.
  • High ratings assigned from panel baseline and continuous risk assessments.
  • Re-establishment or reopening of abandoned panels.
  • Panels designated for trial of new support types or excavating methods.
  • Possibility of surface subsidence.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The typical categories of special areas are described in accordance with operating codes of practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The consequences of not identifying, recording and effectively communicating the designation of special areas are explain d in terms of legal and operational requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the members and functions of a special areas committee. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The disciplines which are represented in a special areas committee are listed in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Rock engineering.
  • Mining.
  • Survey.
  • Geology.
  • Risk assessment.
  • Mineral resource management.
  • Environmental, health and safety.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The functions of a special areas committee are provided in accordance with mine specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Collection, evaluation and recording of data and information used to assess special area status of workings.
  • Designation of special areas.
  • Keeping records of special areas.
  • Formulations of instructions and recommendations to manage risks whilst mining special areas.
  • Provision of notification to relevant personnel on the special area status of workings.
  • Participation in planning meetings.
  • Monitoring of the hazards and risks of workings designated as special areas.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The frequency of special areas committee meetings are known within the context of operational codes of practice. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the methods used to identify and designate special areas. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The circumstances that would lead to the identification and designation of special areas based on physical observations are provided in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Observation of unanticipated ground conditions.
  • Observation of premature failure of support units or systems.
  • Observation of uncharacteristic behaviour of support units or systems.
  • Observation of time-dependant degradation of the efficacy of support units and systems.
  • Observation of non-compliance to operational standards.
  • Observation of abnormal rates of closure.
  • Observation of higher than normal stress fracture frequencies.
  • Observation of actual versus desired behaviour of pillars.
  • Observation of fallout and ejection thickness exceeding design specifications.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The circumstances that would lead to the identification and designation of special areas based on scrutiny of documents are provided in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Reports on non-compliance to operating standards.
  • Size and location of remnants.
  • Magnitude of inter panel leads and lags.
  • Panel lengths.
  • Angle of approach to and vicinity of major geological structures.
  • Frequency of geological structures.
  • Frequency and orientation of anticipated fracture patterns.
  • Planned versus actual stopping widths.
  • Planned mining method and direction versus actual.
  • Possible reasons for stopping working places.
  • Planned versus actual pillar sizes.
  • Planned versus actual production records.
  • Previous special area records.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The elementary mine-specific methods used to estimate magnitudes of stress distribution and rates of closure are provided and compared to previous estimates in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Plots from numerical simulations.
  • Underground observations of hole deformations.
  • Underground observations and measurements of support and excavation deformation.
  • Underground observations and measurements of stress fracture frequencies.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The elementary mine-specific methods used to assess rockburst proneness are provided and compared to previous assessments. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Spatial distribution of seismic events.
  • Temporal distribution of seismic events.
  • On-shift/off-shift seismic event distribution.
  • Extent and severity of rockburst damage.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the process of providing notification of special areas. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The contents of a special areas notification form are described in accordance with mine specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The contents of a special areas plan are described in accordance with mine specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The relevant personnel to whom formal communication of special area status needs to be provided are listed in accordance with mine specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The acknowledgement of receipt of notification is appropriately recorded and filed according to mine specific requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The consequences of not adequately notifying relevant personnel of the special area status of workings are described in terms of legal and operational requirements. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following essential embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:

    Knowledge and understanding that the assessor will evaluate:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the methods used to identify and designate special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of providing notification of special areas.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the members and functions of a special areas committee.

    Causes and effects (Occupational Health and Safety):
  • Use of equipment.
  • Use of personal protective equipment.
  • Adherence to occupational Health and safety requirements.
  • Work related hazards and associated risks.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies and standards:
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: The ability to understand how a plethora of criteria can be used to identify and designate special areas. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: Communication of knowledge and understanding of the concept and process of designating special areas to colleagues and peers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: Coordinated and logical thought processes are required to categorise special areas in terms of frequency and severity. The knowledge of organisational skills required to collect and evaluate data used to categorise special areas confirms competence. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to use data to assess comparative operational risks. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: The appropriate communication of knowledge to other persons and the conversion of knowledge into information used to make decisions that are instituted by the team indicate effective communication. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The impact of designating and categorising special areas on creating an awareness of hazards unique and generic to a particular area. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The knowledge and understanding that designation and categorisation of special areas promotes formalised characterisation of mining areas that aids in optimised mine design confirms. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts, e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act, 1996 (Act No. 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act No. 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site-Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  62796   Further Education and Training Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.