Victorian mining industry promotes safety

Thursday, 11 March, 2010

WorkSafe Victoria recently met with some of the major players in Victoria’s mining industry, as five mining operators shared their experiences on managing hazards on their sites through rigorous safety assessment processes.

Since 2008, WorkSafe has worked with five operators to identify and manage major hazards on their sites such as explosions, falls of ground and toxic underground atmospheres, and to review their safety management systems.

Attended by nearly 100 mining industry members from 15 major Victorian sites, last week’s forum was told about the range of operators’ experiences and results of the safety reviews.

WorkSafe Victoria’s Acting Health and Safety Executive Director, Stan Krpan, said the forum was a great opportunity for people across the industry to see what could be achieved around improving safety: “As with any dangerous industry, WorkSafe has high expectations. This workshop is in no way an end-point for any of the organisations involved.

“Those that told their stories will continue to review, assess and improve their safety management systems while others will learn from these experiences and further develop their own systems.”

Krpan gave this commitment: “WorkSafe will support the mining industry every step of the way. This is a high-risk, high-consequent environment - the laws administered by WorkSafe reflect this and require that high standards must be met.

“We’ve been told the industry wants online, interactive guidance on managing health and safety hazards, and this is the first step in developing guidance we expect to release later in the year.”

The five sites which have been working with WorkSafe Victoria since 2008 are Bendigo Mining’s Kangaroo Flat Mines, Stawell Gold Mine, Fosterville Gold Mine, Iluka Resources’ Douglas Mine and the Yallourn Mine Alliance. WorkSafe Victoria has been regulating safety in Victoria’s mining industry since January 2008. Before this, the Department of Primary Industries was the regulator.

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