Mines Minister Norman Moore today urged mining industry executives to adopt all available measures to eliminate mine deaths.
The Minister had called the executives to a safety risk management workshop in Perth to reinforce the importance of mine safety as an integral part of operations.
Mr Moore said much had already been achieved, but much more needed to be done.
“Every person, from chief executive down, across every company and relevant Government agency, must accept their responsibility to create and maintain a safe working environment,” he said.
The Minister called on the executives to support the development of a risk management strategy aimed at improving safety and health risk management through all levels of the workforce in Western Australia.
The call to action was a recommendation of the recent Mines Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board Report - MOSHAB Priority Areas and Recommended Actions to Improve Safety and Health Performance in the WA Mining Industry.
The report followed a request from Mr Moore for 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 identified four priority areas as part of a three-year strategic plan to further address mining industry safety and health,” Mr Moore said.
“In addition to improving risk management performance at all levels, it identified the need to improve workplace consultation processes and promoting cultural change, maintaining skills and knowledge levels, and implementing effective legislative improvement and review programs.”
Mr Moore said risk management was one of the key elements in improving safety performance.
Senior management had the responsibility and the authority to make the changes necessary to eliminate fatalities in the mining industry.
Mr Moore also unveiled plans to establish safety awards for the State’s minerals and upstream petroleum industries.
He said the new awards would provide a chance to better recognise and publicise the efforts of those who demonstrated excellence in their commitment to improving safety.
Professor Jim Joy, one of Australia’s leading experts on risk management in the mining industry, also addressed the workshop about the importance of risk management to executives.
Other speakers included Lee Ranford, the chairman of MOSHAB and director general of the Department of Minerals and Energy, and Peter Johnston, the president of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.
Media Contact: Hartley Joynt (Minister’s office) 9321 1444