Have your say on health and safety

THE Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002, implemented since December 2006, is in its first five-year review period, allowing the New South Wales coal industry to give input into the problem areas of the piece of legislation.

Blair Price

Various areas of concern have been raised in the discussion paper released by the Department of Primary Industries, including an inadequately defined jurisdiction element of the CMHS Act.

The review aims to simplify the requirements for health and safety systems at coal operations, especially given the existing conditions of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 and Australian Standard AS 4804, and also simplify emergency management systems requirements under the CMHS Act.

Implementation issues of the CMHS Act will also be reviewed.

“The submission and review of summary information on Health Safety Management Systems (HSMS) and Emergency Management Systems (EMS) has created a considerable administrative burden for coal mine operators, the NSW DPI and industry check inspectors,” the discussion paper reported.

“This is particularly the case given the scale and frequency of changes to HSMS and EMS.”

Submissions for the review of the CMHS Act must be in by the close of business on January 27, 2009.

The discussion paper includes a public comment template page and can be downloaded from: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/minerals/safety/legislation/coal-mines