Mines Minister eyes deadline on safety reset

A statewide initiative to refocus on safety has already reached nearly half the state’s 50,000-strong mine and quarry workforce.

But Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham told companies and union representatives at a safety forum on the Gold Coast today that only 13 days remained for another 26,000 people to complete the workplace safety sessions.

“More than 23,000 workers have joined management and union representatives to take part in safety resets at more than 160 mines and quarries,” he told around 100 attendees at the special forum.

“That’s a lot of people, but the commitment from companies and unions in July was that every worker, at every site would attend a reset by the end of August.

“I will report to the regional Parliament in Townsville on the reset, and that includes naming any sites and their operators where workers have not had resets.”

Today’s forum follows on from another Dr Lynham convened in July after the death of six workers in Queensland mines and quarries in less than a year.

The July forum committed to the safety reset, as well as working together on further reforms to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector.

This includes sanctions for reckless behaviour and legislative reforms, such as the government’s proposal to actively consider the offence of “industrial manslaughter”.

As part of the safety response, the Government is also recruiting three more mines inspectors and a chief inspector of coal mining.

Two independent reviews are also due to report back by the end of the year on:

  • why mine and quarry workers have died over the past 20 years; how industry can improve and how the mines inspectorate can work better.
  • the state’s mining health and safety legislation.

The forum is part of a three-day focus on mining health and safety, at the annual Queensland Mining Industry Safety and Health Conference.

Around 680 people from chief executives to safety officers from mines across the state are attending the Gold Coast event.

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