Queensland mine workers up safety complaints

Image: MWA Viewfinder. Copyright the state of Queensland

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate has received increasing reports of safety risks from mine and quarry workers across the state.

The latest figures show 134 confidential complaints being made since Queensland’s safety resets occurred in July and August last year, up from 104 in 2018-19.

The largest increase in complaints was seen in coal, especially in matters related to mine worker safety and health, exceeding those in mineral mines and quarries.

The number of complaints is yet expected to double by the end of the 2020 financial year, according to Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham.

“The increase in confidential complaints shows the safety resets are working by encouraging mine and quarry workers to report anything they feel is a potential safety risk,” he said.

According to the Queensland Government, each complaint requires five days to investigate and resolve.

The mines inspectorate has conducted 76 audits and 1015 inspections, 215 of which were unannounced.

Queensland’s mining regulator is committed to implement all four recommendations that were suggested by the Brady Report.

These include adopting the serious accident frequency rate as a measure of safety, and the high potential incident frequency rate as a measure of reporting culture.

The regulator also intends to establish a dedicated data analytics unit to collate and identify concerning trends of incident in the industry.

“Queensland now has the toughest mining laws in the planet, and there is more to come,” Lynham said.