Safety controls in the mining industry will receive new scrutiny in a crackdown on risk reporting after deficiencies were found in relation to a series of deaths.The marked increase in the number of mining deaths around the nation in 2014 brought criticism from the unions about worker inexperience and cost cutting measures leading to accidents, however the mining industry steadfastly maintains their commitment to safety as a priority.
The Australian said a report based on investigation conducted by consultants Noetic Solutions will be released today which shows that in a spate of five fatal accidents in NSW, three were the result of known risks in the mining industry, and only one was regarded as an extremely rare event.
Last year NSW Resources Minister Anthony Roberts wrote to the Mine Safety Advisory Council in support of the investigation, asking for “a deeper, holistic examination of current circumstances to ensure, as the regulator, we identify and respond to any systematic and underlying issues”.
In the first half 2014 there was one fatal resource industry accident every 15 days, and in NSW there were five deaths in an eight month period.
The uptrend in mining deaths seems to have continued in 2015, with eight deaths around Australia within five months, compared to 10 deaths nationwide in 2013.
In Western Australia unions have called for a royal commission into safety and deaths in the mining industry, however this has been met by a lack of support from the Barnett Government.