Coal safety keeps getting better in NSW

COAL Services has cut worker’s compensation premium rates by 8% for the current financial year from 12 months ago as coal mine safety continues to improve in New South Wales.
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Coal Services

Blair Price

The target rate is 3.6% for 2010-11 compared to 3.9% for 2009-10, while premium rates were as high as 11.5% in 2002-03.

"Evolving workplace practices have delivered marked improvements in occupational health and safety performance in New South Wales' coal mines,” Coal Services chief executive Mark Coyne said.

“The performance of mine operators is a direct driver of premium rate reductions and Coal Services is proud to be associated with this industry-wide improvement in New South Wales."

NSW Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams said the results were testament to the commitments made by employers for the health and safety of the 32,000 men and women in the state’s coal sector workforce.

“NSW mining industry employers will continue to innovate and embrace new ways to proactively address the key areas of fatigue, health management and culture on our journey toward zero harm," she said.

Coal Services noted there had been a significant fall in open claims over the past decade and a marked decline in the frequency rate for lost time injuries.

"The positive trend in claims reduction evident over the past decade continued last year, where we saw a historical low claims frequency rate of 10.92 per cent, highlighting a responsible commitment from coal mine operators,” Coyne said.

“To put this into context, these claims frequency rates were above 25 per cent in 2001-02."

The insurance division of Coal Services also offers a premium incentive scheme for the industry.

Mines must agree to a review of their management safety systems for this scheme, allowing Coal Services to provide safety recommendations.

"Participation by industry in the incentive scheme is a reflection of the commitment by mine operators to continually improve injury prevention and injury management systems within the industry for mine workers," Coyne said.

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