Queensland takes action following string of mining accidents

NRW subsidiary Golding has restarted operations at the Baralaba North coal mine in Queensland, following a tragedy at the site earlier this month.

Baralaba was closed from July 7–10 while Golding, the Queensland Mines Inspectorate and state police conducted an investigation to determine the cause of the worker’s death.

The resources industry responded by calling for a safety reset at mines and quarries across Queensland by the end of August.

Queensland mining’s reset is intended for discussions between management, operational staff and union representatives on risks and safe practice covering all workers.

The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) will have discussions with their members on matters that need to be raised during this process.

“A safe and healthy work environment for everyone working on mine and quarrying sites across Queensland is our shared priority,” the Queensland Government said in a joint statement with the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia, CFMEU and the AWU.

“Any loss of life or serious injury in mines and quarries is unacceptable.”

Queensland’s Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee now includes a district workers’ representative and Queensland Mines Inspectorate, on top of members of the above organisations.

The Queensland Government has also appointed three additional mines inspectors and another chief inspector.

Two independent reviews are under way to look into why mine workers have died over the past 20 years, how the industry can improve, how the mines inspectorate can work better and effectiveness of the state’s mining health and safety legislation.

The government also plans to pass sanctions for reckless behaviour and consider the offence of “industrial manslaughter.”