Fatigued miners increase road accidents

Tired and fatigued miners driving home are causing increased numbers of accidents in Central Queensland.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) says that these fatigued drive in, drive out (DIDO) miners are contributing to the increase of vehicle incidents, according to The Morning Bulletin.

The RFDS explained that in the 2010-2011 financial year, out of the 2170 patient transports it carried out from Rockhampton, more featured miners.

However it clarified that while it was unable to give definitive numbers on the incidents involving miners, RFDS QLD director Dick Conder said that miners wanting to get a home fast after long shifts were becoming more common.

"They just get in their car and go," he said.

"These incidents play a significant impact on retrieval services … we do a lot of flights from Blackwater and Emerald."

Fatigue is a serious issue in mining, particularly once miners step off the work site.

Last year a Queensland coroner's report called for sweeping changes to how the industry handles fatigue.

Central QLD coroner Annette Hennessy made 24 recommendations for the industry following her investigation into two separate fatal road accidents.

Hennessy stated that driver fatigue was a potential factor in both incidents where coal miners were driving home following work, one at Yeppoon in 2005 and the other in Dysart in 2007.

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