More fatalities could be avoided if every worker spoke up when they saw a problem, a safety leader revealed.
Authorities urged every employee to report substandard conditions because it could save their colleague’s life.
“Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) has been working closely with industry and worker representatives for many years across a number of initiatives but the main focus and our priority is on producing a reporting culture,” safety in mines testing and research station executive director Kerri Melkersson said in a video.
“It is an opportunity for us to learn from high potential incidents across industry and an opportunity for us to share to really learn those lessons from those warning signs that will protect and prevent future fatalities and serious injuries.”
RSHQ confirmed a total of 1506 crew members perished across the Sunshine State in all recorded history. The death count includes Barminco fly-in fly-out workers Dylan Langridge and Trevor Davis who died on 15 February 2023 at the Dugald River mine (65km northwest of Cloncurry) as well as Outback Opal Hunters television host Ron Selig who suffered a fatal fall on 26 November 2022.
“Devastatingly we have lost three of our own in the last 12 months. Our heart goes out to those families. Any death, serious injury on a mine site is unacceptable and we need to do better,” Melkersson can be heard saying.
The remarks came ahead of 2023 Miners Memorial Day at the Mount Isa Civic Centre on September 19. On that day 75 employees died in the 1921 Mount Mulligan coal mine explosion and there were no survivors.
“This is a particularly heavy day for those who have lost family members,” Melkersson said.
“It is also important for us to reflect as an industry and regulator the importance of having vigilance in protecting the safety and health of Queensland’s mine workers, so they can go home to loved ones,”
The service was supposed to be live-streamed on the RSHQ Facebook page but was unavailable due to a “power outage” across northwest Queensland.