Conference tackles safety

THE Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety conference draws to a close today after delegates were told to take it easy, think Star Wars technology for their operations and embrace the state’s new industry safety levy.
Conference tackles safety Conference tackles safety Conference tackles safety Conference tackles safety Conference tackles safety

Safety Wise Solutions Gerry Gibb

Vivienne Ryan

The annual conference held in Townsville this week hosted a range of speakers on health and safety issues in mines.


Former Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Oscar Groeneveld told mining executives to switch off their mobile phones and BlackBerry units and take time out, albeit on the eve of his retirement.


“It is an important part of doing your job,” Groeneveld said.


“It can mean that people you delegate authority to don’t use that authority because it is too easy to contact the boss.”


Safety Wise Solutions managing director Gerry Gibb said a new wave of Star Wars-like mining equipment would allow miners to work remotely from safe locations.


He also said the new generation of equipment would attract generation Y to the industry.


“It’s more appealing to generation Y who want nothing difficult, dull, dirty or dangerous,” Gibb said.


Yesterday, Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson told the conference the new levy on miners would help strengthen the state’s Mines Inspectorate.


“We’re asking $26 million from an industry that was worth $26 billion to Queensland in 2006-07,” Wilson said.


The levy, which has come under harsh criticism from the mining world, is expected to fund seven new mines inspectors, two investigators, five scientific research staff, an occupational hygienist, a statistician and a manager of health surveillance.