Queensland takes action on safety reset

Every Queensland miner will be required to attend a safety briefing focussed on the fatal risks at their mine site by the end of August under the state’s safety reset.

The reset follows a crisis talk led by Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham, who was joined by industry and union representatives.

Queensland has been hit by a series of mine deaths and serious safety incidents over the past 12 months.

The latest fatality at the Baralaba coal mine grew the number of deaths in Queensland mines and quarries over this period to six.

Queensland safety officers are distributing a package of information to mine sites under the reset plan. The package will be discussed with workers during safety sessions, which will include input from company executives.

“Following (the) safety summit, it was decided every mine worker on every site will stop work to have a two-way conversation with their employers about fatal risks,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“As an industry, we will make sure when people leave these session they are fully aware of the serious risks they face at work and that they have an opportunity to raise any safety concerns that they have.”

The Queensland Government has also launched two expert independent reviews, one of which is aimed at examining all fatal incidents in Queensland mines and quarries since 2000.

This review was meant to only include coal mine incidents up to the end of last year. It has now been broadened to include mineral mine and quarry incidents, including fatal tragedies.

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

“Industry has been improving its safety and improving the way it goes about increasing the knowledge of all the workers in the industry,” Macfarlane said.

“We will continue to work with the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU), the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Queensland Government to ensure that safety remains the number one priority for all companies.”

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