Simtars celebrates 30 years of researching, testing and promoting safety in Queensland mine sites

From humble beginnings, Simtars (the Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station) emerged from some of Queensland’s worst mining disasters: Ipswich’s Box Flat Colliery (1972), Kianga mine explosion (1975) and Moura number 4 explosion (1986).

Opened in September 1988, Simtars developed and provided a range of vital safety and health, research, testing and training services across Qld, in the hope that mass fatalities at mine sites would be a thing of the past.

Simtars’ work also expanded globally, where it works in the resources sectors of the United States, India, China, Turkey, Laos, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea to improve worker competency—making mines safer and bringing real financial savings to resource companies through reduced worker injuries.

Many of these projects have driven significant changes in safety practice and culture in the mining and allied industries.

For example, Simtars has been working with the Indian government to deliver a world class virtual reality system to the Indian School of Mines. The VR system will improve safety and training outcomes for Indian miners, by giving them a real-time view of a mine in an emergency situation, from the safety of the training room.

Simtars’ international collaborations have also been applied back on home soil. It offers gas monitoring and testing as a vital service that our mines rely on. The service has become so successful, Safegas V4 is currently being rolled out to priority mine sites.

It also provides equipment calibration services, engineering services, chemical analysis and occupation hygiene services.

It plays a key role in the organisation and assessment of the annual Level 1 Emergency Mine Exercise. This exercise tests the response capabilities of different mine sites to serious emergency situations.

Although it’s important to acknowledge the tragic and unnecessary loss of life that occurred in Box Flat, Kianga and Moura; it’s equally important to acknowledge the progress we’ve achieved from the back of these events.