Minister committed to improving mine safety following report
Published Friday, 12 October, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps has today emphasised the LNP Government’s commitment to improving Queensland’s mine safety record following the tabling of a report into safety standards in the State’s mining industry.
The Queensland Mines Inspectorate Annual Performance Report shows a decrease in the number of fatal injuries in the State’s mines from three in 2010-11, to one in 2011-12.
Mr Cripps said that while this figure was an improvement, there was still work to be done.
“The Queensland Government’s target will always be zero fatalities,” Mr Cripps said.
“Only last month at the annual Miners Memorial Day we remembered those workers who lost their lives while on the job, and it is vitally important we continue to work with industry towards a zero harm working environment.”
While the report shows an increase in the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate from 3.4 to 3.9 per million hours worked, it also shows a decrease in the severity rate (down 23.2%) and duration (down 25.1%) of lost-time injuries and disabling injuries in the last 12 months to 30 June 2012.
Mr Cripps said the report highlighted the need for constant vigilance from the mining companies to ensure their operations created the safest possible environment for their workers.
“The Queensland Mines Inspectorate is continuing to ensure the safety standards in Queensland’s mines continue to be among the best in the world,” he said.
“I have instructed the Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health and the QMI to speak directly with mining companies operating in Queensland to urge them to address these increases in mine safety incidents.
“Queensland’s mine safety standards have long been considered the best in the world. However, as new untrained employees enter the industry, employers must be diligent.
“In addition to making direct contact with mining companies regarding the report’s findings, the QMI will also audit and inspect contractor management systems and induction programs.”
Mr Cripps said statutory officials would also scrutinise the level of commitment to and compliance with legislation.
“The QMI will continue to pursue all officials who do not meet their obligations under the legislation,” he said.
“It will also audit those people appointed to management positions at coal mines to ensure they are competent in managing the risks associated with working at mine sites.”
The QMI is also continuing its investigations into the use of collision-avoidance equipment, and is encouraging the adoption of these technologies and assessing their suitability for mining operations.
“In taking these steps, DNRM, and specifically the QMI hope to vastly improve Queensland’s mine safety record.
“Nothing is more important than the safety and health of Queensland’s workers.”
The Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health’s Annual Performance Report 2011-12 is available at: www.mines.industry.qld.gov.au/assets/safety-and-health/Commissioner-Mine-Safety-Health-Annual-Performance-Report-2011-2012.pdf
[ENDS] 12 October 2012
Media Contact: Jane Paterson 0417 281 754 or Paul Sutherland 0428 868 237