Mines Minister George Cash said national occupational health and safety awards for two Western Australian mining companies highlighted the high safety standard being set in the State's mining industry.
Mr Cash said Kanowna Belle Gold Mines of Kalgoorlie had been awarded the national mining and mineral resource industries excellence award for health and safety (the MINEX award).
"This company has shown continuous improvement in all processes which affect health and safety within the organisation," he said.
"Kanowna Belle has proved itself to be an outstanding example of the high standards of occupational health and safety management in the industry."
Mr Cash said the company's health and safety policy summarised its practices.
"The Kanowna Belle's policy states quite clearly that it wants to be the safest gold mine operating in Australia by encouraging its employees to establish and maintain the highest practical standards possible," he said.
"They also aim to create an integrated safety and production culture that ensures the well-being and job security of their employees."
Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) was formally recognised with a commendation.
Mr Cash said KCGM was Australia's biggest gold producer and had achieved remarkable results in accident prevention which had dropped from a `lost time injury frequency rate' of 92 in 1990 to four in 1994.
He said the State-wide 'injury frequency rate' also demonstrated the continued improvement to safety procedures.
In 1993 there were 17 lost time injuries per million hours worked and in 1994 it had dropped down to 13.
"The mining industry in WA continues its commitment to health and safety which is highlighted with local companies being among the winners of the prestigious MINEX Awards," he said.
Media contact: Mark Thompson 222 9595