The Newcastle Institute of Energy and Resources (NIER) has launched a new Centre of Resources Health and Safety.
The centre, aimed at saving lives in the mining sector, has been established through a $1 million research partnership with Aspen Medical.
It comes as Queensland's Mines Safety Commissioner issued an alert about the number of contractors killed on Australian mine sites in the last six months and called on the industry to look after its workers.
In the past six months seven people have been killed on mine sites around the country. Five of these mine workers were contractors.
Safety is one of the most important aspects of all mining operations and “more has to be done to reduce the personal toll of illness and injury, so that everyone who works in the sector can go home to their families each day,” NIER director Dr. Alan Broadfoot said.
"The new Centre will harness expertise across a range of disciplines within the University to address key healthcare challenges for the resources and mining industries,” he said.
"This Centre will be unique. It extends the traditional concept of resources health and safety from delivering benefit to people working in the industry, to the communities and economies that rely on mining and resources."
Areas of focus will include OH&S, respiratory studies, psychology, psychiatry, environmental impacts, and social impacts.
Aspen Medical chairman Dr. Andrew Walker welcomed the collaboration.
"We are delighted to be leading the way once again and to be working closely with the talented team at the University of Newcastle in delivering world-class research into health in the mining and resources industries,” Walker said.