Queensland’s safety reset is nearing completion, with just a small number of the state’s mine and quarry workforce left to complete the program.
Official figures show that 96 per cent of workers in Queensland’s resources industry have completed the safety reset despite the deadline being at the end of August.
It comes as the state undergoes a safety transformation following a spate of incidents at mine sites.
The progress was welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council, with chief executive Ian Macfarlane saying the resources industry has been fully engaged in the reset process.
“From day one when the reset was first proposed at a meeting with industry, government and unions, resources companies have made this their top priority,” Macfarlane said.
“Although the circumstances that have led up to the reset are tragic, the reset process has had a positive impact on the safety settings for the sector in the long-term.”
Each safety reset was implemented according to site-specific circumstances and fatal risks, with Macfarlane revealing the positive feedback received from companies.
“I have had feedback about resets that show they have strengthened the two-way communication between workers and management,” he said.
“There have also been occasions where the resets have identified external issues that could improve safety, for example upgrading roads near mine sites.”
The update comes as the Queensland Government announced the introduction of legislation to establish an independent safety and health regulator – Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ).
The new body, funded by a levy on resources companies, will include already-independent mining inspectors as well as excising safety and health functions currently within the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.
“This separates the job of protecting the workers from the job of growing and facilitating mining and exploration projects and the resources sector as a whole,” Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham
“This is yet another in the suite of reforms the Palaszczuk Government has put in place over the past five years to protect the safety and health of our resources sector workers.”
Under the legislation, the RSHQ will report directly to the mines minister instead of through the department and be subject to monitor and review by a separate, independent commissioner.
“Queenslanders want to see a strong regulator, fully independent and at arms-length from the industry it is regulating,” Lynham said.
“That’s what the new RSHQ will deliver, with a sole focus on the safety and health of our resources industries’ workers.”