QLD launches expert reviews to investigate safety performance

The Queensland Government has initiated two independent reviews to identify changes needed to improve health and safety in the state’s mines following a spate of fatal incidents.

Minister for Mines Anthony Lynham announced that a forensic structural engineer would examine all fatal incidents in Queensland mines since 2000.

Lynham originally confined the review to including coal mine incidents to the end of 2018, but has extended this to include mineral mine and quarry incidents and all fatal incidents this year.

The review will look at why the mine workers have died and how the industry can improve alongside the mine inspectorate.

Separately, the University of Queensland (UQ) is reviewing the state’s mining health and safety legislation to ensure it is relevant to current and emerging mine practise and technology.

The UQ will consult with industry, unions, mines inspectors and legal experts during the review.

Lynham said both reviews “received the full support of the industry representatives” with completion expected by the end of this year and results to be tabled to parliament.

The announcement of the reviews comes as more details emerge surrounding the most recent mine related tragedy at the Baralaba North mine.

Site contractor, Golding, released a statement detailing the circumstances of the man’s death, who was caught between the body of an excavator and the safety rails of the stairs, sustaining injuries as the stairs descended.

Golding chief executive officer Geoff Caton said counselling services had been made available to staff.

“We are committed to working with the authorities in every way possible in their investigation process,” Caton said.

“I’d like to reiterate our deepest condolences to (his) family, friends and work-mates during this very difficult time.”

Minerals Council Australia (MCA) chief executive officer Tania Constable also expressed her sympathy to the man’s family, friends and colleagues, saying the minerals industry would work harder to become free of fatalities, injuries and industrial diseases.

“The MCA will work with all mining state councils, governments, unions and stakeholders to ensure that the safety of our workforce is a priority on all mine sites,” Constable said.

“Clearly even greater effort is needed based on leadership, systems, people, culture and behaviour.”

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