Fossil fuel production could face temporarily stoppages due to a new crackdown against substandard barriers.
Authorities recently warned coal mines they could face suspension if they keep “dozing off” on heavy vehicle safety.
“A major cause of dozer rollovers, but not the only cause, is inadequate edge protection also known in the industry as a berms or bund,” Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) said in a public statement.
“A berm, or bund, is a mound or wall made of dirt that acts as a safety barrier at open-cut mines.”
RSHQ recorded 19 dozer rollovers across Queensland between January 2022 and August 2023. The regulator issued 350 directives and suspended 53 coal operations, equating to one in seven mines.
“Just last week there were two similar incidents in as many days at Blackwater and Isaac Plains. No one was injured and those two incidents are currently under investigation,” the regulator said.
There is also potential for RSHQ to separately refer mines to the serious incident investigation unit for legal action against operators and site senior executives.
“If working conditions are unsafe the law expects them to use those powers,” RSHQ acting coal mines chief inspector Jacques le Roux said.