New underground gas regulations a welcome protection for coal mineworkers

CFMEU Mining and Energy

New safety reforms that place tighter controls on methane gas monitoring in Queensland’s underground coal mines are a welcome protection for workers, the miners’ union said today.

The Queensland Government announced today that new reforms will come into force from 6 January. Regulations will require tighter monitoring of methane levels, with additional methane monitors to be located in underground coal mines.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland District safety inspector Jason Hill said the government was stepping in because industry had shown it wasn’t up to the task of managing dangerous gas levels underground.

“We have witnessed too many gas exceedances in underground mines in the past two years,” said Mr Hill.

“There have been over 100 occasions where methane levels have been above the danger limit of 2.5% – including recently at Anglo’s Grasstree mine.

“Disasters like New Zealand’s Pike River show us the deadly consequences when dangerous gases aren’t properly monitored and managed.

“These new reforms send an important message to industry that if mining companies can’t or won’t ensure the highest levels of safety, the government will step in.

“We welcome this intervention to improve underground gas monitoring and management and look forward to further improvements to Queensland’s mine safety regime.”

/Public Release.