He said the NSW coal mining industry’s impressive health and safety track record was a testament to the collaboration and dedication of government and industry.
“Workplace health and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Harwin said.
“From workers and employers, to local communities, coal mines operate in and all levels of government – we must continue to work together to deliver the best possible health and safety outcomes every day.”
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the sector’s success in ensuring safe workplaces and a healthy workforce was a collective effort.
“Here in NSW, we are fortunate that the state’s stringent regulatory approach is coupled with an unwavering commitment from all industry stakeholders to the highest safety culture standards,” Galilee said.
“However, we cannot become complacent. Continued collaboration is the key to ensuring our systems and processes remain best practice, and that we are able to best protect every single worker within the industry.”
Coal Services CEO Lucy Flemming said a holistic approach was necessary as the industry continued to work towards achieving its goal of zero harm.
“Our multi-pronged approach focuses on the four key pillars of prevention, detection, enforcement and education, and we are constantly working with industry to ensure workplace injuries and illnesses are avoided,” she said.
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union northern NSW branch president Peter Jordan said the health and safety of workers had to remain the industry’s number one priority.
“The industry currently employs more than 19,000 men and women in coal production across NSW, and there is nothing more important than their health and safety,” he said.
“One person with a workplace illness or injury is one too many.”