NSWMC defends state safety record

A PEAK industry body has defended the New South Wales mining industry’s safety record in light of the latest performance report published by the state department of trade.

Lou Caruana

The NSW Minerals Council said national occupational health and safety strategy targets to reduce fatalities by 20% and serious injuries by 40% in 2002-2012 had been achieved.

“Safety in mining is the number one priority of the industry in NSW,” it said.

“Figures show that there were 3.3% fewer total recordable injuries and 2.3% fewer lost time injuries in 2011-12 than in the previous year.

“While the NSW Mine Safety Performance Report 2011–2012 does indicate a rise in safety incidents reported in coal, metalliferous and extractives in 2011-12, the report itself highlights [that] ‘this increase reflects the new and more inclusive reporting requirements of the current legislation’.”

The new reporting requirements directly led to a jump in the figures and these did not reflect an actual spike in the number of injuries, according to the NSWMC.

The latest legislation requires 28 new incidents and injuries to be reported that were not recorded under the old legislation.

“The report itself says ‘the commencement of new coal legislation in mid 2006-07 and new non-coal legislation in the second quarter of 2008-09 resulted in an increase in incident notifications due to some new and more inclusive reporting requirements’,” the NSWMC said.

“NSW mining industry is determined to maintain its 13 years of safety improvement. This is a commendation, not a crisis.”