All mine operations should be shut down for 24 hours to help “reset” discussion on work safety, an industry body has urged.
The Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union’s (CFMMEU’s) Queensland branch is encouraging the nation’s resource industry to stop work for a day and do a “major reset” on workplace health and safety.
“It means stopping every operation for a period of 24 hours, sitting down with your workers and engaging them around what’s going on with your mine site,” CFMMEU mining and energy president Steve Smyth told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
Smyth, who made the remarks ahead of a meeting between industry representatives and the Queensland Government, said he was shocked by the six mining and quarry worker deaths recorded in the past year. Four of the deaths occurred at coal mines.
“I don’t know how many fatalities or major accidents we need to have before industry and the regulators take real action,” he said. “It’s trending in a really, really concerning way.”
State Mines Minister Anthony Lynham described the latest death and injury toll as unacceptable and is meeting with the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), Australian Workers’ Union, CFMMEU and Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to find ways to prevent workplace deaths and accidents.
“I will be making it absolutely clear that this situation is unacceptable and requires action,” Lynham said in a public statement. “I will make further announcements on what action will be taken by this government after I have considered all the relevant information and outcomes from the meeting.”
QRC promised to do everything it could to improve mine safety across the Sunshine State.
“Every day, every miner who goes to work does a safety induction before they start,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said at a press conference. “We need to see if that process is sufficient and to establish what more needs to be done.”