Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Former Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation

    Study identifies hazard profile in WA mining industry

    24/08/2015 6:00 AM
    • Potential key indicators to critical activities implicated in mine fatalities
    • Analysis of 658 serious injuries to guide safety strategy
    • A new State Government study of serious mining injuries highlights potential key indicators to preventing fatalities.

    Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the inaugural Serious Injury Review report will help lay the groundwork for further reductions in mining fatality and injury rates.


    "This analysis is critical reading for everyone in the mining industry," Mr Marmion said. "While injury rates have continued to drop, the trend for serious and potentially fatal injuries has now flattened.


    "Despite a fatality free year in 2012 and six deaths in 2009, there have been on average two to three deaths per year on Western Australian mine sites. This report identifies an annual average of 200 high consequence injuries which have very similar causal factors to fatalities.


    "Reviewing the rate of high severity injuries including amputations, fractures and crush injuries could help provide key indicators, so more efforts can be focused on critical activities linked to fatalities and serious injuries."


    The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) analysed 658 serious injuries, including three fatalities, reported during the six months from July 1 to December 31, 2013. This followed a 2014 review of 52 fatal mining industry accidents between 2000 and 2012.


    Both the serious injury review and the 2014 fatal accident review identified three main hazards facing mine workers:  falling while working at height, being in the line of fire from objects or suspended loads, and being struck or crushed by machines or heavy components.


    "The risk profiles identified in the review will help the industry better understand how to avoid dangerous and sometimes lethal workplace risks," the Minister said.


    The DMP has been sharing the results with industry, including special presentations at the Birla Nifty, Woodie Woodie and Telfer mine sites where fatal accidents have occurred this year.


    "The simple concept of 'golden safety rules' can reinforce critical awareness and controls, such as never start work if there is a risk of falling from height, never stand under anything that can fall on you and never place any part of your body where it can be crushed," Mr Marmion said.


    "The review is part of the Government's wide ranging safety reform program and determination to make a difference."


    Fact File

    • The DMP will use the report to help drive safety performance improvements in hazard awareness and control, risk management, and leadership and cultural change
    • The report is available at http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/
    • For information about ongoing safety reforms, visit http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/9856.aspx

    Minister's office  - 6552 6800