All the latest news in mine health and safety in NSW
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05 July 2019

In this issue:

Causal investigation:
Workers evacuated after gas levels rise

On 21 March 2019, seventy workers were withdrawn from Metropolitan Colliery, an underground coal mine in Helensburgh, south of Sydney, after carbon dioxide and methane levels increased unexpectedly to hazardous levels. Workers remained out of the mine for seven days until carbon dioxide and methane levels returned to non-hazardous levels.

VIDEO: Learning from investigations: Workers evacuated after gas levels rise
Following the incident and preliminary investigation, we undertook a causal investigation to better understand the causes of the incident and to publish the lessons learned.
Causal investigation report
Video: Learning from investigations: Workers evacuated after gas levels rise

Our compliance priorities

The Compliance Priorities Report sets out our key compliance priorities and focus areas for the next six months. By publishing our compliance priorities we aim to increase transparency, community and industry confidence in our regulatory activities and increase levels of voluntary compliance.
These compliance priorities include dust (worker exposure, monitoring and reporting), conveyor belts (lifeline standards and fire risk), roadway and intersection design standards,tailings management, compliance management and systems, progressive rehabilitation and exploration activities.

The report also highlights our planned workshops and seminars, proactive assessment programs and investigation priorities.
Compliance Priorities

Practising Certificates Workshops

We will be holding workshops across the state between August and November 2019 for people who hold a practising certificate or who want to obtain one.

The workshops will cover:

  • How and when to apply for a practising certificate
  • How the maintenance of competence scheme works
  • What records and evidence you must keep for the learning you claim
  • How auditing will be carried out for holders

People who attend are encouraged to bring their application or records for maintenance of competence to discuss.

Practising Certificates Workshops

Learning from disasters training packages now available

Learning from experience, preventing devastating reoccurrences and improving the health and safety of all those working in the mining industry is a profound way to acknowledge and recognise all those affected by mining incidents throughout history.

We have developed a Learning from disasters training package consisting of three programs to ensure mine workers learn from past mining disasters. These programs incorporate the findings from investigations and independent reviews of mining incidents that involved fatalities and serious injury, or where the circumstances presented a significant risk of injury or death to workers or the wider community.

Learning from disasters

Updated maintenance of competency requirements for practising certificates

We have updated the maintenance of competency requirements for practising certificates issued under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014.
Under the new notice published in the NSW Government Gazette No 67 of 28 June 2019, practising certificate holders (excluding those restricted to a specific mine) as a minimum, must complete one of the following requirements for the ‘General Work Health and Safety’ area of competence during the five year period of the certificate. The Guide to the maintenance of competence scheme for practising certificates will be updated shortly to reflect this change.

Public consultation - have your say

The Mining and Petroleum Competence Board oversees the development of competence standards and the assessment of people who have a role at a mine that may affect health and safety.

We are seeking comment from stakeholders on the Mining and Petroleum Competence Board’s (the Board) proposal to increase experience requirements. This is for people applying for a certificate of competence for statutory functions at a mine or petroleum site required under the Work Health and Safety Mines and Petroleum Sites Regulation 2014 (the regulation).

The board’s proposed changes to experience requirements are in response to its review of feedback from examination panel members on the unpreparedness and lack of experience of many candidates under the current assessment requirements.

The board is proposing to implement the changes in 2020. Before implementing the proposed changes, we are seeking feedback from interested parties. The closing date for feedback is 31 July 2019.

For further information and to provide your feedback please click on the button below:

Public consultation changes to Certificate of Competence experience prerequisites

Investigation information release Non-work-related death

A visitor attending the Maules Creek Mine Coal Handling and Processing Plant was found unconscious outside an administration building on 16 May 2019. Mine workers administered first aid to the visitor and he was airlifted to Tamworth Hospital. He died two days later.

We conducted a preliminary investigation into the circumstances of the visitor’s death. As a result of the information obtained during the investigation, the Regulator does not consider the visitor’s death to be work-related.
Investigation information release Non-work-related death

Safe Work Australia consultations open

Safe Work Australia is currently inviting interested stakeholders to share their feedback on the following:
Further contact info:
Resources Regulator | Phone: 1300 814 609

Regional NSW, Resources Regulator
516 High St
Maitland, New South Wales 2320

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