WA appoints new mines safety director

Simon Ridge has been appointed as the new head of WA resources safety.

His promotion comes as the current executive director, Malcolm Russell, steps down.

The appointment was welcomed by mines and petroleum minister Norman Moore, who stated that Ridge has been a central figure at Western Australia's Department of Mines and Petroleum for the past 16 years.

"While Mr Russell was instrumental in driving resources safety reform in WA and establishing the RADARS strategy in 2009, Mr Ridge has been involved alongside him throughout the implementation process," Moore said.

"Now he’ll be able to expand his focus in this new position, covering minerals and petroleum."

Earlier this year Ridge was recognised for his work in mine safety, winning the Jim Torlach Health and Safety award from AusIMM.

Ridge has also played a key part in the appointing of new mines safety inspectors across the state.

WA has been taking massive steps forwards over the last two years in its attempt to reform resources safety in the state's mining industry.

The reforms were the State Government’s response to needs identified in independent reviews and inquiries, such as the 2009 Kenner Review of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, and a spate of mining fatalities in the middle of the decade.

Ridge will continue in his current role as the state mining engineer while he heads the division. 

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