‘Banal’ factors responsible for Queensland fatalities

Copyright the state of Queensland

Brady Heywood has released a report on Queensland’s mining and quarrying safety performance as part of a state government independent review.

The report, which is called Brady Review, notes that the industry had a fatality cycle based on its examination of all fatal incidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019.

This will likely continue if the sector does not make any significant changes to how it operates, according to the Brady Review.

Past behaviour suggests that around 12 fatalities are likely to occur over any five-year period, the report stated.

“This pattern has been evident over the past 19.5 years and is characterised by periods where a significant number of fatalities occur, followed by periods where there are few to none,” it continued.

“This suggests that the industry goes through periods of increasing and decreasing vigilance.”

The Brady Review suggests that the causes of fatalities are typically a combination of banal, everyday factors, such as a failure of controls, a lack of training and/or absent or inadequate supervision.

“The industry needs to focus on ensuring workers are appropriately trained for the specific tasks they are undertaking (and) supervised for the tasks they are undertaking,” the report stated.

It provided 11 recommendations for the mining and quarrying industry and was led by Brady Heywood forensic engineer Sean Brady.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the release of the Brady Review, stating that it represents a wealth of information that the resources industry can use to further enhance safety.

“QRC endorses all of the recommendations of the Brady Review,” chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The 6 fatalities that occurred between July 2018 and July 2019 have been described by some in the industry as evidence of an industry in crisis, but a bleaker assessment is that this is an industry resetting itself to its normal fatality rate.

“This is a very sobering assessment that the industry takes seriously.”

QRC plans to redouble efforts to do “everything possible” to maintain vigilance and undertake further detailed review of the findings as “a matter of urgency”.