Disturbing trend in mining fatalities

Deaths in the mining industry have spiked alarmingly over the past financial year.

Injury figures published by Safe Work Australia have shown a downward trend in the number of deaths in the mining industry over ten years.

In financial year 2013-14 Australian Mining has counted 17 people who have fallen in the line of duty, the victims of tragic accidents.

This led to a rate of approximately 15.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, the highest industry fatality rate seen since 2005-06 during the early days of the mining boom.

In 2005-06 Australia saw 14 deaths and a rate of 14.5 per 100,000 workers, according to Safe Work Australia.

At time of writing Safe Work Australia could not supply figures for the preceding year 2012-13, during which time the Minerals Council of Australia reported that there were no deaths recorded, an apparent success for their industry philosophy of Zero Harm.

In the last six months there have been four deaths in NSW and four deaths in Western Australia, two deaths in Queensland, one in Northern Territory and one in Tasmania.

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee released a comment this morning emphasising the importance of safety in mining.

"The recent spike in incidents and fatalities in the Australian mining industry is a poignant reminder that our miners face hazards every day and that safety is everything to NSW mining; it is our number one priority, our most important issue," he said.

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