Resources Regulator maps out mining health, safety risks

The NSW Resources Regulator has released a list of compliance priorities to improve safety in the mining, extractive and petroleum industries.

Safety issues concerning respirable dust, progressive rehabilitation, subsidence management, and non-reporting of incidents will be tackled between July and December this year.

Objectives under the compliance priorities include ensuring a safe industry; providing information and guidance on safety; giving confidence and transparency in industry regulation; educating the community and industry on best practices; and supporting the industry to meet regulatory obligations.

A number of proactive assessment programs are planned for the rest of the year.

They will give focus to coal, metalliferous and small mines, with each program having its own list of priorities.

Coal and metalliferous mining assessment programs will involve explosion suppression, fire and explosion underground; ground or strata failure surface; shafts and winders, spontaneous combustion underground; self-escape underground mines and roads or other vehicle operating areas (metalliferous only).

Small mines, which also cover quarries, include assessment programs covering airborne contaminants; roads or other vehicle operating areas; structural integrity; electrical safety; and ground or strata failure of underground opal workings.

A number of workshops and seminars are also being delivered on a virtual basis due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This includes the “underground coal mining engineering managing reform” in November which will discuss issues, give updates to guidelines, bulletins, investigation releases and relevant incidents from the past six months.

The Regulator hopes to achieve a “consistent and responsive regulatory approach” with the new priorities and improve transparency and confidence in its compliance and enforcement.