Whitehaven to enhance safety with $800,000 investment

Whitehaven Coal has pledged more than $800,000 to fund safety projects in support of mental health initiatives and the provision of lifesaving equipment.

The submission of the workplace health and safety enforceable undertaking is related to a collision between two trucks on the main haul road at the Maules Creek mine in New South Wales in 2018.

The enforceable undertaking is a legally binding agreement proposed by a company and may be considered an alternative to prosecution.

It is the second highest mining work health and safety undertaking by value in New South Wales.

“As part of the of the agreement (Maules Creek Coal) will undertake a range of safety and community projects that will provide clear and tangible benefits to the workforce, the mining industry and importantly, the broader community as well,” New South Wales Resources Regulator executive director Anthony Keon said.

“These include the delivery of a community-wide mental health initiative and donations to Narrabri Shire Interagency Group, the SES (state emergency services), and Boggabri Hospital to fund a mental health ‘Community Connect Day’ and much needed emergency and lifesaving equipment.

“These are important initiatives given the significant challenges faced by regional communities, especially in light of the impact of issues such as drought, bushfires and COVID19.”

Whitehaven Coal will also partner with the University of Queensland through the undertaking, promoting the safe implementation of automation and other technologies on mine sites.

“The use these types of technologies is increasing across industry and these shared learnings will help all operators better identify and manage the risks associated with introducing this emerging technology,” Keon said.

An indigenous mentoring program will also be funded by the undertaking, along with reimbursing the regulation’s investigation and legal costs.