The NSW Minister for Industry, Energy and Resources Anthony Roberts has commended the state’s workplace health and safety efforts.
This comes ahead of the International Day of Mourning, held on April 28, which commemorates workers who have died due to occupational diseases or workplace accidents.
“In NSW, government, industry and workers are committed to ensuring our mining workplaces are as safe as possible,” he said.
“We all want to ensure our miners who go to work every day for the benefit of their communities and the state, are able to return home at the end of the day to their families.”
Roberts went on to praise the NSW coal industry for its commitment to the prevention of occupational diseases such as black lung.
Stephen Galilee, NSW minerals council CEO said, “Health and safety is the number one priority for mining, and the industry is continually committed to ensuring worldwide best practice is present within NSW coal mines.”
Coals Services’ managing director/CEO Lucy Flemming said the key to successful health and safety was the collaboration between employers, workers, communities and the government.
The services’ dust disease prevention model is based on prevention, detection, enforcement and education.
“We are not complacent as an industry when it comes to health and safety, and this in turn is repaid with safe and healthy workplaces,” she said.
“Our worker’s compensation insurance claim frequency rate now sits at its lowest level in history at less than six per cent.”
New reforms to the NSW coal industry worker’s compensation scheme’s premium system will be enforced from June 30 2016 to ensure a fair and responsive response to injury prevention and a comfortable return to work experience.
In addition, Coal Services’ Skills Incentive Scheme will provide financial incentives to employers who hire apprentices and will offer rewards for contributions to mine safety and injury prevention.
Tony Maher, general president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union (CFMEU) praised Coal Services’ commitment to improving its support.
“These reforms will help contribute to injury prevention and promote activities that facilitate return to work following injury,” he said.
“Most importantly, they allow Coal Services to continue providing the best possible support to workers and the industry.”