Iron ore mines the safest in WA

Western Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety (DMIRS) has identified iron ore as the commodity associated with the lowest number of injuries per million hours worked.

With only four injuries per million hours worked at iron ore mines during July-September last year, mines of other commodities such as gold and nickel reported a much higher rate.

Bauxite and alumina topped the list with 20 injuries per million hours worked.

Seventy-eight per cent of all injuries reported were musculoskeletal disorders.

There were 283 serious injuries and 50 minor ones occurring at Western Australia’s minerals sector during the period.

Workers aged 30 to 39 experienced the greatest percentage (26 per cent) of injuries, followed by those aged 50-59 (23 per cent).

A majority of injuries occurring at Western Australia’s surface mining operations fell on mechanical fitters (17 per cent), followed by those working in processing plants (16 per cent).

For underground mines, roles related to the loading of transport occupied the top injury frequency position with 26 per cent.

The second highest occupations reporting injuries came from services and long hole drill and blast, with each sitting at 19 per cent.

Production and development areas were the top location for injuries occurring in underground mines, according to the DMIRS.

Meanwhile, the bench area (not haul road) had the highest percentage of injuries for surface mining.

“The overall injury frequency rate increased from 5.9 in the April to June quarter to (six) this quarter,” the DMIRS stated in its quarterly performance snapshot.

“Make sure you can recognise the hazards associated with your workplace and the work you do, understand the risks and know how to implement the control measures.”