Queensland Mines Minister Andrew Cripps has urged mining companies of the need for constant vigilance to ensure their operations provide the safest possible environment for workers in light of an increase of nearly 15 per cent in mine safety incidents in the state.
However, despite the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) increasing from 3.4 per million hours worked during 2010–11 to 3.9 during 2011–12, the Queensland Mines Inspectorate annual performance report shows the number of deaths fell from three to one during the period.
There was also a decrease in the severity rate (down 23 per cent) and the duration (down 25 per cent) of lost time and disabling injuries.
Mr Cripps says he has instructed the mine safety and health commissioner to speak directly with mining companies to urge them to address the increase in safety incidents.
“Queensland’s mine safety standards have long been considered the best in the world. However, as new untrained employees enter the industry, employers must be diligent,” he says.
Cripps has also ordered the Mines Inspectorate to audit and inspect contractor management systems and induction programs. It will also audit appointments to management positions at the state’s coalmines to ensure competence in managing the risks at mine sites.