All the latest news in mine health and safety in NSW
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6 November 2018
In this issue:
Safety alert
Legionnaires’ disease is a lung infection caused by legionella bacteria that has the potential to cause severe illness and death.

The requirements for building occupiers to test for legionella bacteria on a monthly basis and notify high ‘reportable test results’ to local councils commenced on 1 January 2018.

With the onset of spring rain and warmer weather the risk of bacteria growth in cooling towers poses a risk to mine workers. Preventing the growth and transmission of legionella bacteria, and subsequent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease is controlled by managing cooling water systems and preventing contamination of mine ventilation systems.
Safety Alert - Controlling legionella bacteria in mining operations
Safety bulletins

We have published the following safety bulletins this week:

Welding processes declared a carcinogen
Through its planned assessment programs conducted at NSW mining operations, the Resources Regulator has identified that some mine operators have not identified or acted upon the reclassification of welding processes as a group 1 carcinogen.
Mine operators should ensure they acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters.
Safety bulletin - Welding fume safety
Safe systems of work on Jumbo and other drill rigs
The Resources Regulator is presently undertaking an assessment program at underground metalliferous mines focussing on procedures and systems for isolation of energy on drilling equipment.
Safety bulletin - Drill rig safety
Noetic Review
The Noetic Group has completed its final review of the Resources Regulator’s progress in implementing its mine safety regulatory reform.

The review involved the Noetic Group engaging with the Resources Regulator, including reviewing systems and processes, meeting with staff and reviewing key documents. Noetic reported overall widespread improvement in the policies, practices and processes by the regulator since 2016.

In addition, Noetic was particularly impressed by the effectiveness of the centralised incident notification and response function, with more timely and quality management of incidents. The review identified five areas for improvement and the regulator has developed an action plan in response.
Download the Regulatory Reform Report (September 2018)

Appointment of Chief Inspector
Garvin Burns has been appointed to the position of Chief Inspector of Mines. The Chief Inspector is one of our most critical roles, which in addition to leading the mine safety inspectorate, provides expert technical advice and support to the Deputy Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer in relation to operational delivery, regulatory actions and compliance performance in relation to mine safety.    

Garvin has been acting in the role for the past 10 months and has now been appointed to the role on an ongoing basis following a comprehensive and highly competitive recruitment process.   

Garvin has over 20 years’ experience in a wide variety of management roles in the mining industry in both NSW and Queensland. Since joining the department in 2013 Garvin has been a key contributor in helping to reform and contemporise our regulation of mine safety, and of note was pivotal in establishing our Targeted Assessment and Planned Inspection Programs.  Having now been appointed to the role, Garvin will be looking to further refine and consolidate the way we conduct our proactive activities and engage and communicate with industry. 

Notably, the appointment of Garvin marks the final stage of our recent executive reforms, and we now have (for the first time in a very long time) all of our executive positions permanently filled. 

Organisation chart
Coming soon... new portal
We will soon be launching a web-based portal to streamline and modernise how you share information with us. 

The portal will give you access to online forms including:
  • A new form for notifying us of an incident under the WHS laws
  • A form for notifying us about high-risk activities
More information about the portal will be shared with you soon.

Ballina next stop for small mines health and safety roadshow

The annual small mines health and safety roadshow is coming to Ballina on 13 November, followed by Port Macquarie on 15 November. It's not too late to register to attend, click on the button below to register your interest.

The roadshow provides information and guidance about hazard management plans, hazard control plans and the process for reporting or notifying the regulator about safety incidents. Analysis of data relating to recent mine safety incidents is also included.

Click here for roadshow dates, locations and to register your interest
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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