An initiative to refocus on safety in Queensland has reached nearly half the state’s 50,000 mine and quarry workforce.
On Sunday, Queensland Mines Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, told companies and union representatives at a safety forum that only 13 days remained for another 26,000 people to complete the workplace safety sessions.
“More than 23,000 workers have joined management and union representatives to take part in safety resets at more than 160 mines and quarries,” the Minister told around 100 attendees at the special forum on the Gold Coast.
While that is a significant amount of people reached, the commitment from companies and unions in July was that every worker, at every site, would attend a reset by the end of August.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane, said that safety is a priority for the industry and the safety reset is an initiative to reaffirm that message at every mine site to every worker.
“The industry will continue to aim to have delivered the safety reset on all mine sites by the end of August,” he said.
Dr Lynham is expected to report to the regional Parliament in Townsville on the reset, and that includes naming any sites and their operators where workers have not had resets.
The forum on Sunday comes shortly after another that was convened by the Mines Minister in July after the death of six workers in Queensland mines and quarries in less than a year.
The July forum committed to the safety reset, as well as working together on further reforms to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector.
This includes sanctions for reckless behaviour and legislative reforms, such as the government’s proposal to actively consider the offence of ‘industrial manslaughter’.
As part of the safety response, the Government is also recruiting three more mines inspectors and a chief inspector of coal mining.
Two independent reviews are also due by the end of the year on:
- why mine and quarry workers have died over the past 20 years; how industry can improve and how the mines inspectorate can work better.
- the state’s mining health and safety legislation.