Confidential complaints increase reflects change in safety culture

Published Monday, 23 March, 2020 at 08:00 AM

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

Mine and quarry workers across Queensland are reporting more potential safety risks following the Palaszczuk Government’s mine safety resets.

Latest figures show 134 confidential complaints have been made since the Palaszczuk Government’s statewide safety resets in July and August 2019, up from 104 in 2018-19.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the inspectorate expects a near doubling of complaints by the end of the 2020 financial year.

“The Palaszczuk Government has a strong record on protecting our mine workers,” Dr Lynham said.

“The increase in confidential complaints shows the safety resets are working by encouraging mine and quarry workers to report anything they feel is a potential safety risk.”

While increases are seen in all three sectors, coal, mineral mines and quarries, the largest increase is seen in coal – especially in matters related to mine worker safety and health.

Each complaint requires, on average, five inspector-days to investigate and resolve.

For the 2019-20 financial year the Mines Inspectorate has conducted 1015 inspections with 215 of those being unannounced inspections. The Inspectorate has also conducted 76 audits.

Meanwhile the mining regulator has accepted and committed to implementing each of the four recommendations it has received in the Brady Report.

These include:

  • adopting the serious accident frequency rate as a measure of safety in the industry.
  • adopting the high potential incident frequency rate as a measure of reporting culture in the industry.
  • establishing a specialist, dedicated data analytics unit, whose sole purpose will be to collate, categorise, actively search and identify concerning trends in incident data for the industry.
  • develop a new and greatly simplified incident reporting system.

Dr Lynham acknowledged the mining industry, unions and workers commitment to the recommendations outlined in the Brady report.

 “Queensland now has the toughest mining laws in the planet, and there is more to come,” he said.

“We have listened, we enacted the safety reset and we have actioned changes.

“At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our 53,000 mine and quarry workers.

“Meanwhile, the LNP did nothing about mine worker safety and health during their disastrous three years in government.”



Media contact: Michael Saunders – 0428 411 617