Minimal rise in Goldfields injuries

New figures from the Department of Mines and Petroleum show 208 mining workers were seriously injured in the Goldfields in 2014-15.

The statistic shows a small increase on the previous year, which recorded 204 serious injuries.

The departmental classification defines “serious injury” as an incident resulting in more than two weeks off work or harm caused by fumes, explosion or electric shock.

In total there were 305 injuries (33 per cent of which occurred in underground mines), compared with 305 injuries in 2013-14.

The Kalgoorlie Miner reported the DMP has carried out 616 site inspections over the past year, with 152 improvement notices and 36 prohibition notices issued.

The DMP has recently sought further stakeholder involvement in the process to modernise and consolidate safety legislation in the state.

DMP Resources Safety executive director Simon Ridge said the callout was part of the second stage of a three-stage consultation process.

“In 2014, the first stage looked at the structure of the current legislation and recommended consolidating the safety requirements from six different Acts into one Act,” Ridge said.

“This year, we are consulting on the modernised and consolidated Act, the Work Health and Safety (Resources) Bill.

“Next year, we will consult on the regulations.”

Ridge said that as the resources industry continued to transition towards a risk-based approach to safety and the introduction of new technologies, the new legislation would need to be less prescriptive and more adaptable to change.

“Each industry sector presents its own risks and safety requirements,” he said.

“However, there are many common elements. The new Bill, based on the model legislation used nationally, should deliver improved consistency between industry sectors, as well as with the Commonwealth, while still including industry-specific provisions in the regulations.”

Image: AFR

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