Queensland contemplates prosecution for safety breach

Queensland’s Mines Inspectorate (QMI) has reiterated a zero tolerance stance for unsafe practices in light of two fatal incidents at Jacks Quarry near Collinsville and Fairfield Quarry near Clermont last year.

QMI put the safety of workers front and centre as it was commencing its investigation of the two incidents.

Inspectors have observed ineffective safety controls such as missing machinery guards, a failure to maintain mobile equipment and work being conducted on machinery that hasn’t been isolated from energy sources.

Chief inspector of mines Hermann Fasching said operators who continued to expose workers to harm were on notice that QMI would take compliance action, including prosecution.

“These failed controls have resulted in workers being seriously injured and killed in the past, and this cannot be tolerated,” Fasching said.

“Please let me be clear, our preferred approach is to work with obligation holders to support their management of risk.”

QMI has attended mine and quarry sites 979 times in the past eight months to conduct inspections and meetings. It has suspended operations 58 times.

“Mineral mine and quarry operators must take full responsibility for safety on their sites,” Fasching concluded.