Mines Minister Norman Moore is to convene a meeting of mining industry executives to urge greater emphasis on safety risk management.
The proposed meeting of about 130 mining industry chiefs is one of the recommendations from a high-level report by the Mines Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board (MOSHAB) on ways to prevent fatalities and reduce injuries in the minerals industry.
The report was tabled in State Parliament today by Mr Moore.
“I firmly believe it is possible for us to achieve our target of zero fatalities in the mining industry,” the Minister said.
“However, this will only take place if every person, from chief executive down, across every company and relevant Government agency, fully accepts their responsibility to create and maintain a safe working environment.
“To get this vital safety message to everyone in the industry, I will be calling a meeting of all minerals chief executives in Western Australia within the next few weeks.”
Mr Moore asked MOSHAB to review its current works program and recommend any additional measures that could be taken to improve safety across the industry following a triple fatality at Bronzewing gold mine in June.
“MOSHAB has identified four priority areas as part of a three-year strategic plan to further address mining industry safety and health,” he said.
“Its priority areas are - improving risk management performance at all levels, improving workplace consultation processes and promoting cultural change, maintaining skills and knowledge levels, and implementing effective legislative improvement and review programs.”
Mr Moore said the MOSHAB report recommended 33 specific actions.
These included the Department of Minerals and Energy and Chamber of Minerals and Energy conducting information workshops throughout the State aimed at improving risk management performance and preventing fatalities, with participation from all levels of the workforce, including senior management.
MOSHAB had also recommended actions aimed at improving the role and participation of safety and health representatives in achieving safety goals.
The MOSHAB report also expressed concern about the ongoing loss of knowledge and experience at all levels of the workforce and the changing nature of the mining industry.
It proposed that the Chamber of Minerals and Energy be asked to assess the participation rate and effectiveness of the underground miner training program and competency training for supervisors and managers, to ensure acceptable standards are maintained.
It also recommended the Department of Minerals and Energy review its approach to enforcement and prosecution, and develop a compliance improvement plan for MOSHAB’s consideration.
“Working together to implement these recommendations will move us closer to our objective of zero fatalities,”
Mr Moore said.
MOSHAB member organisations comprise the Department of Minerals and Energy, Chamber of Minerals and Energy, Unions WA and WorkSafe WA.
The Minister thanked members of MOSHAB for their continuing efforts to bring about improved safety and health in the minerals industry.
The report ‘MOSHAB Priority Areas and Recommended Actions to Improve Safety and Health performance in the WA Mining Industry’ is available free of charge from the Department of Minerals and Energy web site at www.dme.wa.gov.au.
Hartley Joynt, Office of the Minister for Mines, 9321 1444
Roger Buddrige, Dept of Minerals and Energy, 9222 3660