All the latest news in mine health and safety in NSW
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28 February 2020
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Review of Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Laws

The public consultation period for the Review of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Laws will run from March until April 2020. During that period, the independent lead is holding nine free, face-to-face public consultation forums over a four-week period.

To make a submission you can:

  • Complete the feedback form
  • Attend a free, half-day, face-to-face public consultation forum (click on the link below to register for your preferred forum):
Week 1: 
•    March 10 - Penrith
•    March 11 - Wagga Wagga
•    March 12 - Wollongong

Week 2:
•    March 18 - Dubbo
•    March 19 - Broken Hill
Week 3:
•    March 23 - Muswellbrook
•    March 24 - Newcastle
•    March 26 - Coffs Harbour

Week 4:
•    April 7 - Sydney

Submissions close 17 April 2020.

Download the public discussion paper
Click here for further information

Fossickers... know your rights and responsibilities

Following consultation with industry and government agencies, the revised fossicking guideline, Fossicking: A guide to fossicking in NSW, has now been published on our website.

The purpose of the publication is to provide a detailed and accessible guide to relevant legislation so that fossickers understand their rights and responsibilities. In particular, it provides clarity on restrictions relating to permissible fossicking equipment. 
Click here for further information and updated resources


At approximately 10 am on 14 October 2019, a 50-year-old worker was found unresponsive inside an excavator at Cedar Point Quarry. Despite the efforts of his co-workers and the ambulance officers, the worker was unable to be revived.

Click here to read the full Investigation information release

Worker seriously injured from fall

On 18 February 2020 at approximately 7pm, an operator was in the process of completing a pre-start inspection on a Caterpillar 789D haul truck at Wilpinjong Coal Mine. While ascending the truck's access ladder a hand rail on the Caterpillar failed, causing the operator to fall about 1 to 1.5 metres to the ground. The worker sustained serious arm and leg injuries and was transported by ambulance to the hospital, and later underwent surgery to repair the fractures.

Click here to read the full Investigation information release

Save the date...
Tailings management forum, 3 June 2020

The construction, operation and decommissioning of tailing dams continue to be key issues that have the potential to affect the sustainable development of the mining industry.

At Dubbo on 3 June 2020, we will be facilitating our annual Tailings management forum. The forum will bring together industry, technical experts and regulators to participate in presentations and discussions on the risks and knowledge gaps in tailings management to help develop targeted strategies to address these issues.

Further event details will be made available in the coming weeks via Mine Safety News and our website.

Read more on Tailings management

Legislation updates

Tier-3 quarry exemption

Tier-3 quarries are exempt (effective 28 February 2020) from certain requirements of the Work Health and Safety Mines and Petroleum Sites Regulation 2014 (the Regulation). In particular, the person carrying out the statutory function of the Quarry Manager is not required to hold a practising certificate. However, the operator of the mine must ensure that a competent person is nominated. The mine operator is also exempt from informing the Regulator of certain matters such as cessation or commencement of operations and who is carrying out the function of quarry manager at the mine.

Please use the links below for more information:
Tier-3 quarry exemption fact sheet
Tier-3 quarry exemption gazette notice

Survey plans to Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94) exemption

This exemption (effective 28 February 2020) applies to the requirement for survey plans prepared in accordance with clause 122 of the Work Health and safety Mines and Petroleum Sites Regulation 2014 to reference a mine or petroleum site to the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94). An operator of a mine or petroleum site is exempt from the requirement for the survey plan to reference the mine or petroleum site to the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94).

Please use the links below for more information:
Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 exemption fact sheet
Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 exemption gazette notice

Clarence Coal WHS undertaking rejected

On 31 January 2020, a WHS undertaking was submitted to us for consideration, which proposed a number of obligations by Clarence Coal to deliver benefits to workers, industry and the community.

We considered the undertaking, and on 24 February 2020 rejected the proposal, being of the view the circumstances of the incident warranted strong specific and general deterrence.

Click here for more information

Educational video raises awareness for fall prevention on mobile plant 

Sibelco Australia has developed an educational video as part of an enforceable undertaking. The video raises awareness and assists workers, contractors and mine operators in the broader industry with identifying some of the requirements for fall prevention on mobile plant.
Click here to watch the video

Managing fire or explosion risks in underground coal mines

Click on the link below to read the recently published targeted assessment program (TAP) consolidated report on managing fire or explosion risks in underground coal mines. 

Click here to see our TAP report archive

TAP Report: Managing fire or explosion risks in underground coal mines

New silica workplace exposure standard commences 1 July 2020

The Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson has announced a new plan to reduce cases of the lung disease silicosis. Notably, this includes the introduction of the new respirable crystalline silica workplace exposure standard of 0.05mg/m3 from 1 July 2020.

Click here for the full media release

New online historical documents catalogue

A new online directory has been established on our website consisting of documents featuring outdated material and/or repealed legislation. While this directory provides a valuable source of historical information, many of these documents include valid and relevant guidance material.

View the historical catalogue

Latest compliance audit report

We routinely undertake compliance audits of mining operations and exploration activities to assess whether titleholders are meeting their compliance requirements and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Use the link below to view our most recent audit report.
To view previous audit reports, visit our website.

Compliance audit report: Woodlawn Mine Tarago Operations Pty Ltd

Crystalline silica health monitoring guide

Under the model WHS Regulations, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must provide health monitoring for workers if they carry out ongoing work using, handling, generating or storing crystalline silica, and there is a significant risk to the worker’s health because of exposure.

Health monitoring is carried out or supervised by a registered medical practitioner. The guide provides registered medical practitioners with practical guidance on requirements under the model work health and safety laws for health monitoring of workers exposed to crystalline silica.

Read the Crystalline silica health monitoring guide here

Release 12 open for public comment

Safe Work Australia is evaluating the Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants to ensure they are based on the highest quality evidence and supported by a rigorous scientific approach.
Release 12 is now open for public comment. Please note that this release includes chemicals that were deferred from previous releases as well as chemicals that do not currently have an Australian workplace exposure standard.

Chemicals in this release that do not currently have an Australian workplace exposure standard are:
  • Glyoxal
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Methyl Vinyl Ketone
  • 2-Methylbutyl acetate
For a complete list of chemicals in Release 12 please visit our consultation platform Engage.

Public comment will close on 13 March 2020.
Click here for further information and to provide your comments
Further information:
Resources Regulator  |  1300 814 609  |

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Maitland, New South Wales 2320

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