NSW safety campaign targets worker responsibility

More than 13,000 mine workers have been engaged by the NSW Resources Regulator as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the risk of collisions from heavy mining equipment.

During the first three months of 2021 the NSW Resources Regulator noted an increase in incident notifications involving heavy mining equipment and other mobile vehicles.

In some cases, these incidents either resulted in serious injuries or had the potential to fatally injure workers.

The campaign, which was conducted over a 15-day period in May, saw 41 Resources Regulator inspectors deliver presentations to more than 300 work crews at 37 mines across the state.

According to the Regulator’s report, the campaign’s intention was for inspectors to brief individual crews at each site on the risks involved, as well the responsibility of workers.

NSW Resources Regulator chief inspector Garvin Burns said this campaign was about ensuring the mine workers understood they had a role to play and an obligation to keep themselves and their workmates safe.

“Our investigations into incidents involving heavy mining equipment has identified that fundamental practices such as positive communication, complying with traffic rules, driving to conditions, or basic hazard awareness are repeatedly being identified as a contributing factor for potential workplace incidents,” he said.

“Near miss incidents involving vehicles have the potential to seriously injure or kill, due to the sheer size of the equipment typically involved.”

Burns said feedback from mine managers, workers and inspectors on the campaign was overwhelmingly positive.

“We hope that workers will take the learnings and maintain a state of heightened awareness when operating on or near heavy mining equipment,” Burns said.

“While this campaign was about delivering a specific message to mine workers, it is also timely to remind mine operators that they should also review their safety management systems to ensure there are effective verification processes in place to monitor and ensure that controls are being effectively implemented.”

 

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