Mining inspectorate probes worker safety allowance in QLD

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Queensland’s Mines Inspectorate will launch a crackdown on companies that has passed on payments of health checks and safety gear to workers, in breach of Queensland mine safety laws.

The Inspectorate had reportedly received numerous complaints from contract workers stating that they had to self-fund personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical checks.

Queensland’s chief inspector of mines Luca Rocchi said, “We have been provided evidence of employment contracts requiring workers to pay the cost of the medical if they leave their employment within a defined time, which would result in the employer not meeting the [legal] requirements.

“The Inspectorate … will be actively checking to ensure PPE requirements and health assessments of contract workers and labour hire employees are being managed in accordance with the legislation.” 

The Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) welcomed news of the Inspectorate’s plans, which reported that some companies required both permanent and contract employees to pay for their own medical assessments and PPE as a condition of employment, a contradiction of state mining laws.

“It’s the Government’s responsibility to make sure the companies comply with relevant laws about workplace health and safety,” said Steve Smyth, CFMEU mining and energy president, Queensland.