WA gets new mines safety director

Andrew Chaplyn has been announced as the new WA mines safety director, after Simon Ridge left the position following his promotion to resources safety executive director earlier this year.

Chaplyn is reportedly a 25 year veteran of the industry.

WA mines minister Norman Moore said Chaplyn, a qualified mining engineer, was an ideal fit for the position.

“Andrew has worked with the department as a regional and district mines inspector for three years and has helped drive resources safety reform in WA through the Reform and Development at Resources Safety (RADARS) strategy,” Moore said.

“He has a strong commitment to safe working environments and worked in many senior leadership roles across the industry.

“I am confident Andrew will continue to hold the industry to account, applying the highest standards through risk assessments, investigations, inspections, audits and safety interactions.”

Ridge, the previous safety director, was appointed as executive director in August.

The move comes as the WA Government confirms its commitment to mines safety, stating that it has taken significant steps in increasing safety on site over the last two years.

“The Government introduced a cost-recovery system to help improve capacity and increased the number of mines inspectors to ensure world best practice regulatory standards for our resources sector,” Moore said.

“The ultimate objective is to establish resilient safety cultures in the sector to help reduce the number and severity of incidents with the aim to reach a ‘zero harm’ goal.  I am pleased to be able to say there has not been a WA mining death for 16 months."

Earlier this week the WA Government announced the appointment of a new, ninth mines safety inspector for the state.

Ian Mckay will be responsible for inspecting the region’s 38 active mines and will help to conduct around 550 site visits.

The state now employs a total of 63 mines safety inspectors after a further four were added to the roster in August.

Three of the new inspectors will be covering the state's Northwest, while the remaining safety officer will cover the Southwest.

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