NSW has taken the next step towards a fatality free mining industry with the launch of the National Mine Safety Framework (NMSF) Public consultation process.
This process is an important step towards achieving a consistent approach to mine safety across Australia, according to the NSW Government.
A consistent approach to mine safety would benefit all States and territories by allowing mineworkers and employers to operate with greater safety and efficiency throughout the country.
The National Mine Safety Framework is an initiative of the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources and was initially developed by the Chief Inspectors of Mines.
Chief Inspectors are the most senior technical officers with regulatory responsibility for mining operations in the States and Northern Territory of Australia.
A steering group, made up of representatives from State/Northern Territory and Australian Government, trade union and industry associations, was formed to implement the framework.
Currently there are different mine safety and health regulations in each State and Territory. This presents problems with mineworkers moving around the country on different projects, having to undergo numerous inductions because there is no standard induction.
By developing a Mine Safety Framework across Australia there would be: A nationally consistent legislative framework; A consultation protocol — aimed at ensuring effective consultation between stakeholders at the workplace; and A national data set — aimed at ensuring consistency in data collection and analysis.
While addressing today’s launch, Alan Coutts Deputy Director General Primary Industries Mineral Resources, said the public hearings were an important way to canvass the views of all interested parties.
“Inconsistency can not only be hugely inconvenient for industry and the workforce, but it can be expensive and can result in varying degrees of safety performance” he said.
“For instance NSW requires some equipment to be overhauled and repaired at licensed workshops. Other States have no such requirement — this could mean equipment repaired in another State is unusable in NSW.” For more information, or to make a submission visit www.industry.gov.au/minesafety