Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has told a WA mines inspector forum that the mining industry needs to prioritise workers’ safety because “every worker should return home safely to their family and friends at the end of each shift or swing”.
“That’s an absolute right every worker should have, and a goal and expectation we all share.”
The Minister was speaking at the biannual Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP) Mines Inspector Forum held this week.
According to Mine Safety Director and State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn, the forum brought together the State’s Mines Safety inspectorate.
“This event gives inspectors an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with their colleagues,” Mr Chaplyn said.
“This helps to ensure our inspectors give clear, consistent safety advice across Western Australia’s mining industry.”
Mr Chaplyn said another important focus was ensuring the inspectorate encourages industry to continue climbing the hierarchy of control.
“There needs to be a concerted effort to move up the hierarchy of hazard control – the system used to highlight the effectiveness of different methods of control,” Mr Chaplyn said.
“Personal protective equipment is considered the least effective form of hazard control, and is at the bottom of the hierarchy.
“Administrative controls are next, followed by engineering controls, substitution and finally elimination.
“The further we move up this hierarchy, the safer our mining industry can become.”