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All Queensland Miners To Undergo Safety Training Following Fatalities

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Image Credit: PIxabay

All mine workers across Queensland will undergo safety training after six died in 12 months.  

Mining and quarry industry representatives, the Queensland Government and trade unions have reached a landmark agreement committing to a safety reset in the Queensland resources sector.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Steve Smyth said a number of critical issues were resolved in Wednesday's meeting.

“Importantly, we now have a recognition from both industry and government that the culture around safety must change.

“We have achieved a commitment to tackle reckless behaviour in the workplace, and to put industrial manslaughter laws on the table.

“We also have agreements from all parties to participate in the two independent reviews that are currently underway, and to co-operate with the findings of those reviews.

“Furthermore, we have all agreed to work together to develop a series of safety resets at mining sites around Queensland by the end of August, covering the safety of all mining workers.”

Mr Smyth said while Wednesday's meeting was a breakthrough, there was still much more work to be done.

“Building a stronger safety culture in Queensland mining will take time, leadership and commitment from all sections of the industry.

“We cannot, however, afford to fail. Too many lives have been lost already.”

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) will work with the Government, unions and workers to implement the outcomes of Wednesday's safety summit, including a safety reset to reach every worker on every shift.

The issue of safety is an ongoing top priority in our industry and there is a shared commitment to safety from all in our sector. The recent tragic loss of life and injury must strengthen that commitment and our collective resolve.

Everyone who works in a mine or a quarry - or any other workplace for that matter - is entitled to leave for work and return home safely to their loved ones. When resources companies say safety is their top priority, it’s backed with action.

Each mine in Queensland already has substantial and regular safety briefings and procedures in place. The QRC has committed to work with the Government on the two safety reviews established by Minister Lynham and our member companies have committed to a safety reset across all mines.

This reset will be on top of the comprehensive safety briefings that already occur on each mine site. The reset will have the ability to meet mine-by-mine and site-specific requirements to ensure the best safety outcomes.

The objective must be to reach every worker across every shift. Therefore, these resets will be tailored to the individual sites and their various rostering and operational requirements. QRC will work with the employee representatives - the CFMEU and the AWU - to ensure our industry has the most robust safety culture it can and that two-way conversations between management and operational staff are ongoing.

The QRC and its members will participate in a safety forum at the annual Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference next month (18 to 21 August).

We will also work with the Government on reforms to strengthen safety culture in the resources sector. This includes further discussions on sanctions for reckless behaviour, as well as the Government’s proposal for legislation on the offence of “industrial manslaughter”.

We thank Minister Lynham for convening today’s safety meeting and thank all participants for their constructive approach.