Events, Features

Back to the future at QMIHSC

QMi, queensland mining industry health and safety conference

Registration is now open for the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference 2024.

With so many strides being made in safety technology every day, could one argue the mining industry becoming too complex for its own good? 

Will the removal of human interaction dilute workers’ ability to identify risk? 

Is there a place for the simpler processes of the past to co-exist with new technology and ways of work?

These are the kinds of pressing questions on the docket at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference (QMIHSC) 2024.

With the theme of “Back to the future”, industry stakeholders, prominent safety voices, and delegates will come together to blend past and present to help navigate towards a safer future. 

Few understand this ethos better than Professor Arnold Dix, who will speak at QMIHSC 2024. Dix is an Australian who made headlines in late 2023 when he helped rescue 41 trapped workers from the collapsed Silkyara-Bardot tunnel in India. 

A scientist and expert in all things underground, Dix was contacted by India’s Chief Engineer and the Secretary for the Prime Minister asking for his help.

After more than two weeks spent battling the challenging and ever-shifting conditions imposed by the Himalayas (where the tunnel was being built), all 41 workers were rescued without injury. 

Dix believes many lessons can be learned from the adaptive and resilient solutions employed underground to help solve most of the challenges facing the world today. 

“The Silkyara rescue demonstrates that almost anything is possible when we unite and be nice,” Dix said.

The discussion at QMIHSC 2024 will include critical safety lessons that can be employed in the mining industry and in day-to-day life. 

“This year’s content is relevant to industry’s changing health, wellbeing and safety landscape, covering current and future matters and catering to our diverse delegate cohort,” QMIHSC chair Larnie Mackay told Safe to Work.

“Extended interactions between our keynotes and delegates were positively embraced last year and will be continued in 2024, with opportunities to engage one-on-one.

“We encourage delegates to share knowledge, expertise and insights into important health and safety matters with keynotes and other delegates.”

Last year’s QMIHSC theme of “Inside looking out” involved speakers and exhibitions from within the mining industry and beyond. 

Last year’s event, which aimed to look past the mining industry to see what programs, systems and initiatives were transferable to the resources sector, was a huge success that brought in safety experts from all walks of life.

QMIHSC 2024 aims to keep that collaborative approach alive, bringing in guest speakers and exhibitions from a wide variety of industries. 

In the personal protective equipment (PPE) space, German company Uvex returns as one of the 2024 event’s major sponsors. Uvex specialises in PPE across a broad range of areas like the heavy industries and sporting. 

Uvex, which sponsors a French cycling team in the Tour De France, will give away a racers’ bicycle at QMIHSC 2024, making the event a must for any fans of cycling in the mining industry.

The team behind QMIHSC has also taken in feedback from last year’s event and made several improvements to the delegate experience. 

Channelling the “Back to the future” theme, the event team has overhauled the registration process. Rather than filling in physical forms and name badges at the event like last year, self-registration can now be completed electronically at kiosks. The change is expected to make the process faster and nicer, and generate less waste. 

While last year’s delegates were able to raise issues to panels and speakers, this year’s QMIHSC has adopted an app to streamline the process of submitting questions. This digital approach also allows the person raising the question to remain anonymous if they wish to avoid the microphone. 

This year’s event places the guest experience front and centre, channelling the successes of 2023 and making improvements in other areas. 

ManUp! Australia, an organisation devoted to early detection of prostate cancer that was last year’s Health Program award winner, is the 2024 recipient of the dinner appeal auction, where valuable items are donated and auctioned off to raise money. 

“In an improvement to last year’s appeal, we will be opening up the auction online prior to the conference to maximise your bidding opportunities,” Mackay said.

“Please dig deep to support this worthy cause for the early detection of prostate cancer, a cause that has already saved the lives, and supported the families, of many in our industry.” 

QMIHSC 2024 will take place at The Star, Gold Coast from August 18–21.

This feature also appears in the May-June issue of Safe to Work.

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