QLD blasting seminars begin tomorrow

 The Queensland Government will host seminars to teach coal miners about its new guidelines for better management of blast fume events during blasting.

The government released new blasting guidelines in July, to inform the mining industry on safer ways to blast and manage blast fume events following a number of incidents where miners were exposed to nitrous dioxide.

Mines minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the five information seminars will be held in Moranbah, Blackwater and Toowoomba from tomorrow.

“This initiative represents the next step in the Bligh Government’s commitment to improve worker safety during blasting operations at mines," Hinchliffe said.

“The seminars will outline new blasting guidelines developed by the government in partnership with industry and the trade union movement to better manage fume events.

“Senior government mining health and safety officers, health science professionals, and representatives from the mining industry and explosives manufacturers will make presentations.

“The seminars will focus on new guidelines to prevent, better manage and monitor fume events during blasting operations as well as medical plans to treat workers exposed to fumes.”

While the guidelines have been developed to instill better blasting behaviour, Hinchliffe admitted that blast fume events can never be completely eliminated; these seminars will help miners manage fume events and minimise exposure risks.

The DEEDI has been analysing fume data from all blasts and, since May, there has been a significant reduction in the number of fume events.

“Since we established the tripartite steering group to develop new guidelines, there has been significant awareness and improvement in the industry’s management of fume events."

Hinchliffe encouraged personnel involved in blasting to attend the regional seminars.

“This includes drill and blast superintendents, blast designers, shot firers, shot crew supervisors, shot fire trainers, mine operations planners, blast controllers and explosives operators.

 

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