NSW regulator urges organisations to refresh coronavirus measures

The New South Wales Resources Regulator has continued to monitor the implementation of safety controls in managing the risk of coronavirus transmission at mine sites.

Mine workers across New South Wales have made enquiries and raised concerns with the industry body around the risks that arise from the virus.

The regulator reminded operators that all workplaces must have measures in place to eliminate or manage risks associated with the coronavirus.

“While you will not be able to completely eliminate the risk of workers contracting COVID-19 (coronavirus) while carrying out work, you must do all that is reasonably practicable to minimise that risk,” the regulator stated.

“A number of organisations have developed additional resources to assist the industry and identify key controls that are reasonably practicable for operators to implement.

“Where operators have not adopted these controls, the regulator expects to see evidence of risk assessments being carried out and suitable alternative controls adopted.”

The Resources Regulator has also put procedures in place to minimise the risk of its mine inspectors contracting or transmitting coronavirus on the job.

These include a reduction of its programs, only to consider incident responses as serious or critical. They will remain unchanged and be tackled on a case by case basis.

The regulator is urging mining organisations to review and adopt guidance material from the Minerals Council of Australia and Safe Work Australia to ensure they are implementing all necessary steps to protect its workers from coronavirus.

It has also published frequently asked questions (FAQ) on its regulatory operations during the coronavirus situation, which will be updated to reflect any changes as they develop.