Reset renews mine and quarry workers' safety focus

Friday, 13 September, 2019

Reset renews mine and quarry workers' safety focus

Almost 50,000 Queensland mine and quarry workers and their employers have completed safety resets, after the state experienced six deaths of mine and quarry workers in 12 months. Throughout July and August, 96% of Queensland’s mine and large-quarry workers joined management and union representatives in 1115 sessions across more than 219 sites to discuss ways they could improve safety culture and practices, according to Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

While Dr Lynham is “pleased that the safety resets have been embraced”, he said it is not the end and is urging workers who did not have a reasonable opportunity to participate in a reset to contact their union or employer immediately. He is also encouraging companies to “examine attendance records to ascertain which employees — if any — have not attended a reset so catch-up sessions can be organised if required in the coming weeks”.

Dr Lynham believes the workers who had not attended resets were likely itinerant or campaign-based quarry workers or people employed on alluvial and small-scale mines across several hundred sites. The government, companies, unions and industry peak bodies have also committed to further reforms to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector, including sanctions for reckless behaviour and legislative reforms, such as the government’s proposal to actively consider the offence of ‘industrial manslaughter’.

In addition, the government is recruiting three more mines inspectors and a chief inspector of coal mining as part of the safety response and has commissioned two reviews on why mine and quarry workers have died over the past 20 years, how industry can improve and how the mines inspectorate can work better, as well as a look at the state’s mining health and safety legislation.

Image credit: ©

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