New regulation to protect Queensland mine workers from dangerous methane gas
Queensland mine workers will be safer from potentially dangerous methane gas levels after new health and safety regulations are set to come into effect next year.
The reforms, which come into force from January 6, will place tighter controls on methane gas monitoring in Queensland’s underground coal mines.
The prevention and early detection of methane related risks are vital to protect workers in Queensland’s nine operating underground coal mines.
Queensland has one of the most efficient coal mining industries in the world, with exports increasing year on year – which also means the state’s mines are becoming deeper, and this extra depth in an underground coal mine also increases the risk of higher methane levels, that is why these reforms are important.
These reforms will put methane controls front of mind in our underground coal mines.
The new regulations will require coal mine operators to place additional methane monitors in the longwall tailgate return airway and ensure boundaries of explosion risk zones are clearly signposted.
If methane levels reach an unacceptable level, workers must be withdrawn from the mine, or part of the mine, and the regulator must be notified.
These reforms have come after extensive consultation with key stakeholders including unions, the Queensland Resources Council, site senior executives and, most importantly, workers on the coal face.
The resources regulator will continue to work with underground coal mines to ensure these new measures are seamlessly implemented.
This reform follows a raft of safety and health measures introduced by the Queensland Government including:
- $35 million commitment to deliver reforms to improve the safety and health of our mine workers
- A commitment to tighter controls on mine dust levels.
- $1.21 million in funding for a Mobile Health Screening Van to improve black lung and silicosis screening.
- Introducing the Resources Safety and Health Queensland Bill 2019.
- worksite safety reset sessions of mine and quarry workers and employers statewide.
Last updated 13 December 2019