Queensland tackles mine safety with India

Indian PM Narenda Modi. Image: Creative Commons 4.0 via kremlin.ru

The Queensland Government has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Government to focus on mine safety management plans.

The agreement was approved last week by a union cabinet chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It establishes a partnership between India’s Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) and Queensland’s Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS).

The two groups will implement risk-based safety management systems incorporating training programs, seminars and technical meetings, a national mine disaster centre and and occupational health and safety (OHS) academy.

SIMTARS, part of the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, specialises in health and safety training and environmental issues within the resources sector.

“Mining accident rates in Australia [are] the lowest in the world,” the Indian Government said.

“Australia has pioneered in conceptualising and implementing risk-based safety management plans for the mining sector using the technique of hazard identification and risk assessment.”

India recorded 377 official mine deaths between 2015 and 2017, with more than half that number killed in coal mines, according to figures from India’s Labour and Employment Ministry.

In addition, the groups will work on modernising the DGMS research and development (R&D) laboratory.

DGMS is part of the Government of India’s Ministry of Labour and Employment and has been in place since 1901.

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