Attendance to mine safety conference surges

Close to 700 mining industry personnel will be on a mission to break new ground for the health and safety of mine workers when they pour into Townsville next week.

The record attendance at the 20th annual Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety conference has forced a change of venue from Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino to the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre next door.

Conference Chairman Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said the bumper attendance is evidence of the deep commitment to health and safety by industry, the Queensland Government and unions.

“The theme of this year’s conference, breaking new ground, challenges us to roll up our sleeves and get on with the real work that makes practical differences to the health and safety of mine employees,’ Roche said.

“The health and safety performance of mines in Queensland has improved significantly with lost time injuries falling from more than 900 a decade ago to 351 in 2006-07 while at the same-time, employment in the industry has risen by 62%.

“However, as the figures improve, the effort and commitment required to maintain this trend increases, and the conference will present ideas and initiatives that will push the boundaries and take us into challenging new ground.

“The industry, government and unions have a shared goal o ‘zero harm’ and this conference provides a platform to redouble our efforts to make this goal a reality,” he said.

The four-day conference, hosted by the Resources Council, The Department of Mines and Energy and mining unions the CFMEU and AWU begins on Sunday 17 August.

Keynote speakers include Peter Bains, Detective Inspector of Operations in the Forensic Services Group of the NSW Police Force, Graeme Peel AM Group General Manager of Qantas Occupational Health and Safety, leading Canadian safety consultant Corrie Pitzer and ABC broadcasters James O’Loghlin and Peter Thompson.

The conference will again include the annual innovations awards, which promote ideas developed by Queensland mine workers

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