Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years

THE Queensland mining industry has convened an emergency meeting to address the worse safety crisis it has suffered in 20 years amid growing pressure to costs and increase productivity.
Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years Qld mining grapples with highest fatality rate in 20 years

Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche.

Lou Caruana

Representatives from the industry agreed at a meeting this week that a “business as usual” approach would not suffice any longer and the issue needed urgent attention, Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche said.

Resource sector fatalities in Queensland in 2014-15 were the highest for 20 years, he said.

“The clear message from today’s meeting is that safety is first, daylight second – regardless of operating circumstances,” he said.

“Industry leaders identified a number of critical safety risks facing the sector that could benefit from a collaborative approach across the resources sector.

“When it comes to improving the industry’s safety culture and leadership, better management of vehicle and mobile equipment safety and addressing fitness for work challenges (such as impacts from drugs and alcohol), a collaborative rather than competitive approach is what is needed.”

CEOs and their senior health and safety managers from the state’s minerals and energy producers and leading contracting companies had gathered in Brisbane for the safety forum ahead of the annual safety conference in Townsville on August 16.

The challenging market conditions for many of the state’s resource commodities should not and would not divert the sector’s focus on employee health and safety, Roche said.

“QRC members made it clear today that there is no room for complacency when it comes to safety,” he said.

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