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What Queensland’s new safety reforms mean for workers

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The Queensland Government has passed the Resources Safety and Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2024.

The reforms aim to modernise regulatory enforcement powers, ensuring the state’s resources safety and health legislation is both contemporary and effective.

Mine and quarry sites will now be required to introduce critical controls in their safety and health management systems, with ‘enforceable undertakings’ being introduced for the first time in the Queensland resources industry.

Regulating critical controls will ensure more incidents are prevented before they occur.

An enforceable undertaking is an alternative to prosecution and allows the regulator to accept a legally binding promise to take action from individuals and companies where they have breached the safety and health legislation, but not in matters involving workplace deaths.

“The most important thing to come out of out of any workplace at the end of each shift is its workers, and that is why safety is my number one priority,” Queensland Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart said.

“Our goal for these reforms was to improve the resource sector’s safety and health performance, and to reduce the number of fatalities and serious accidents.

“The resources industry is a key driver of the Queensland economy, but we can’t have a thriving resources sector without robust safety measures in place.”

The changes will be implemented over the next five years.

The changes to the Resources Safety Acts were informed by recommendations from the Brady Review into fatal accidents at Queensland mines, the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry, the coronial inquest into the death of Gareth Dodunski, and industry consultation.

“This has been a monumental effort and I want to thank everyone who contributed to these reforms, in particular the parents of Gareth Dodunski, Michelle and Phil, who bravely recounted the devastating loss of their son during the Committee hearings,” Stewart said.

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