The New South Wales Resources Regulator has released a safety bulletin urging workers in the state’s mining industry to be extra vigilant with safety over the festive season.
The bulletin recognises the tough year the industry has faced and acknowledges the anticipation many workers have to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with their loved ones, but stresses that workers stay alert so as to not become complacent.
Rushing and being distracted, coupled with fatigue, increases the chances of mistakes occurring which can lead to serious incidents.
It also outlined that consideration should be given to mental health and the mental well-being of work colleagues, given the pandemic has had polarising mental health impacts and with continuing travel restrictions and conflicting work rosters, workers may have feelings of separation, loneliness or loss during this holiday season.
With Christmas and New Year’s often a time of indulgence, socialising and overcommitting, the bulletin recommends workers consider their alcohol consumption and be aware of how lack of sleep, interruption of routine and distraction can affect their work performance and safety onsite.
As travel resumes and leave demand surges, mines are reminded to ensure adequate supervision is available to meet the needs of their site.
Mine operators and the persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) are reminded that workload and task demand must be monitored to avoid worker overload during times of increased leave.
The safety advice also highlights the severe weather expected this summer which has the possibility to disrupt mining operations and highlights the importance of mine operators to consider the risks on their site.
PCBUs are also urged to review systems in place to manage heat stress and worker exposure, as heat stress is a very real threat to workers in the mining industry and mine operators.