Being safe whilst working above or below ground in a mining operation is the number one priority. Mining accidents do occur despite high levels of risk assessment.
We are reminded of this again as a miner was tragically killed in a WA underground mine incident last week.
The man involved in the Norseman Gold Harlequins underground mine was a 59 year old New Zealander. He was fatally injured at the site on Saturday morning.
The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum said its inspectors were at the mine site on Sunday and mining operations have been suspended whist the internal investigation takes place.
This is indeed another sad reminder of the importance of safety in all mining operations. Details of the fatality and how the rock fall occurred will not be known for some time.
A spate of mining accidents in Western Australia
There has been a spate of mining accidents in Western Australia over the last few months, more notably the fatalities at Fortescue Metals Group iron ore mines.
New recruits to the mining industry must take safety training seriously although just as in any other industry, there are those who choose to take risks on a daily basis. Risk assessment and the reporting of hazards are part of daily life for all miners and support personnel who work in mining jobs across Australia.
“stop and think about the risk”
Mining accidents can be avoided when workers simply take a few seconds to stop and think about the risk of performing a task, especially when working with machinery or in close proximity to moving vehicles and equipment. iMINCO urges all mining employees, no matter what their job specification or location to stop and consider the potential hazards before performing a high risk operation.
Mining refresher courses
Mining refresher courses are always available and specific mining companies offer additional site-specific induction refreshers to warn all employees of the high risk hot-spots on individual mine sites. Zero or low long term injury figures for mining companies are the number one priority.
Work Health & Safety changes in legislation of late, highlight the resolve of State governments to raise even greater awareness of the threat of mining accidents and how they can be avoided through specific courses and frequent refresher training. Queensland leads the world in the way it has structured its mining induction training courses.
“proof of a mining qualification”
In Queensland, no person can set foot on a mine site unless they can prove they have attained a mining qualification that validates they have acute knowledge on mining safety and procedures. This is a Department of Natural Resources and Mines certification often referred to as the Standard 11 mining induction.
To further increase the validity of new recruits to the mining industry, any person who has completed a mining induction course in Queensland must then complete further on-site work and have their paperwork signed off by a Supervisor or manager before a proper qualification can be issued.
It is a nationally recognised qualification and is recoginsed as a benchmark for cognitive safety awareness in the industry and is covered under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999.
Western Australia mining safety training course
MARCSTA (Mining & Resource Contractors Safety Training Association) is the WA mining and resource training organisation who run their own induction courses for the State. This one day course is designed to introduce health and safety working practices. Although, as of February 28 2014, its RTO status is being relinquished.
MARCSTA training options
For people who are looking for the MARCSTA statement of attainment RIIOHS201A should contact Industry Pathways on 0403 560 594 for information on how to enrol in this course.
Our condolences to the family, friends and community members of the miners who have lost their lives.