Tragic news unfolded recently as word spread of a missing miner at Glencore’s Mt Isa mine in Queensland. The man who was believed to have been working around the orepass and has been missing for a number of days.
Management of the Mt Isa mine have indicated the man may have fallen in an area which is located 1 kilometre underground.
This area is highly dangerous and is used to process thousands of tonnes of pre-crushed rock which is transported via a network of conveyors for additional screening and processing.
“entire mining operations were halted”
The entire mining operations were halted as efforts began to locate and recover the man’s body from the orepass. The Queensland Mining and Safety Mining Inspectorate were on site and working with Glencore’s mine management and Work Health and Safety team to uncover how the accident happened.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has indicated that parts of the underground mine have been released to allow the Queensland Police investigation to start.
Mining safety – it’s an everyday habit
Once again, this is another unfortunate reminder of the importance of regular safety awareness training in mining operations across Australia.
“in-depth safety training essential”
Queensland mining has a low rate of fatalities compared to other states in Australia. This is partly due to the strict legislation passed by the Queensland government to allow all new recruits into the mining industry to have access to in-depth safety training prior to commencing work.
This comprehensive training course, named the Standard 11, is classed as “mining induction”. The course is mandatory for all mining employees in Queensland who wish to work in a coal or metaliferous mining environment.
Surface induction prepares new starters (and also existing workers by way of a mining induction refresher) for life in Australian mines. Owing to the number of high risk situations employees face on a mine site, safety training is absolutely essential.
“contractors present the greatest safety risk on mine sites”
Not only do full-time employees undergo extensive training, so do mining contractors, who present the greatest risk in terms of accident occurrence.
Employees and contractors undergo strict safety training at the entry level and it is a requirement that they attend a site-specific mine site induction. This is where new employees are introduced to how the mine works and the compliance and operating procedures that govern their workplace.
With so many different operational tasks occurring on a mine site at once, the chances of accidents occurring are increased – especially when new workers are expected to familiarise themselves with the site’s operations at such short notice.
About Mt Isa Mines