The Queensland mining industry has recorded its first ever fatality-free year in 2015–16.
According to an annual performance report released by the Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, Kate du Preez, this is the first time the metalliferous mining and quarrying industry and the coal mining industry have experienced a fatality-free year since 1877.
Since 1970 the coal mining industry has had 12 fatality free years while the metalliferous mining and quarrying industry have had 4.
“This outcome is a testament to the good work done by government, unions, employees and workers in applying risk management processes—striking a balance between prescriptive regulation and risk management,” Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, Kate du Preez said
“While this achievement is something to be celebrated, it has been tarnished by the sudden reappearance of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) and a number of serious accidents and high potential incidents (HPI’s)”.
“As the newly appointed independent Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, I intend to maintain and improve the good work already done by my predecessors. Through consultation and ensuring all stakeholders’ recommendations are considered; through knowledge sharing, and emphasising continuous improvement across all mining operations”.
“I intend to focus on:
- continuing to assess key actions and work currently underway to tackle the re-emergence of CWP
- re-examining management practises for respirable crystalline silica and diesel particulate exposure for coal, metalliferous and quarrying sites
- assessing potential mental health programs, including looking at stress associated with the economic downturn
- improving safety and health reporting by reconsidering traditional safety indicators as well as the processes involved in capturing, analysing and communicating safety and health data to better identify and understand safety and health trends, and lead indicators”.
“Lastly, the Queensland mining industry has a high safety standard due to a combination of rigorous safety processes, employee training, new technologies and improved communication”.
“Safety and health is an ongoing process and when new hazards arise, new technology is introduced or other changes occur to the work environment, these changes need to be addressed to ensure that every mine worker goes home safe and healthy every day”.
Source: Department of Natural Resources and Mines
First fatality-free year in Queensland’s mining history reported by Stephen. Available from <https://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/10/first-fatality-free-year-queenslands-mining-history/#.V_ccduB97Dc> [ 10:54am, Friday 07 October, 2016]