Letting safety resonate

MINING Safety Day is set to be the most emotional day by far at Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition in Sydney, with Beaconsville disaster survivor Brant Webb telling his story.

Staff Reporter

After taking part in a scheduled panel of speakers addressing mine safety matters at AIMEX this afternoon, Webb will share his experiences of being trapped in the collapsed Tasmanian mine for 13 days before being rescued.

Webb’s first-hand experiences are expected to be a powerful highlight to a discussion that will also include Dean McSporran from Safety or Sorrow, who lost his arm in a mining accident and is now a motivational speaker and industry consultant on safety issues.

Webb and McSporran will be joined on the panel by a mine safety manager and a government agency representative.

AIMEX’s Mining Safety Day has been organised as a means to offer practical insights into the importance of mine safety through the compelling testimony of disaster survivors.

Exhibition organiser Reed Mining Events said the day would provide networking and discussion opportunities for visitors as well as expand on AIMEX’s overriding theme of innovation in mining.

“It’s a risky job but there’re companies out there, both miners and suppliers, who provide them with equipment that have improved safety standards astronomically,” Reed exhibition director Paul Baker said.

“Some of the technology now is amazing and it’s important that we continue to invest and do research and development into making it safer.”

Technology, however, is only part of the overall issue to be assessed today at the Sydney Showground’s Somerville Room.

The life-changing impact of safety issues, brought into focus by the accident survivor speakers, will help assess the need to engrain safety as policy in company culture.

“Innovation is not just about product or equipment as such,” Baker said.

“You’ve got processes and business management about how you can improve things.

“Innovation is about doing it better, to put it very simply.

“You’ve got people within the industry telling their stories and that’s important because it’s very hard to find that engagement generally.

“It puts a very personable and emotional touch on the whole issue of safety.

“It does put the whole human element into safety – it’s not just legislation, it’s real.”

All safety sessions will be free to attend for registered AIMEX visitors.