New safety body lines up for mine workers
Queensland’s 66,000 resources workers will soon have their own independent health and safety body.
The state’s resources workers could now rely on an organisation with one job – keeping them safe at work.
The new Resources Safety and Health Queensland will be 100 per cent focussed on workers and will be separate from the government’s broader function of growing and facilitating mining and exploration projects and the resources sector as a whole.
It is expected from July 1, when RSHQ kicks off the new authority will regulate the safety and health of the state’s minerals, coal, petroleum and gas, quarry, small scale mining and explosives workers. It will comprise of:
- almost 90 inspectors of coal mines, mineral mines and quarries, explosives and petroleum and gas
- Queensland’s world-leading Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station, Simtars, and
- the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme.
The chief executive officer will report directly to the mines minister for and be required to have a professional qualification relevant to the resources industry and professional experience in the resources sector.
The new authority is expected to be up and running from 1 July, and is the latest in a suite of sweeping mine safety and health reforms.
Those reforms include:
- legislation currently before parliament creating the offence of industrial manslaughter, bringing resources workplaces in line with all other Queensland workplaces
- better detection and prevention of black lung, and an improved safety net for affected workers.
- increased maximum penalties for offences to $4 million nd powers for the regulator to issue fines without going to court.
- statewide safety reset sessions for mine and quarry workers to refocus on health and safety
- $35 million to deliver reforms to improve the safety and health of our mine workers
- a commitment to tighter controls on mine dust levels
- extra mines inspectors.
Last updated 17 March 2020