All the latest news in mine health and safety in NSW
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10 August 2018
In this issue:

Bulga Coal investigation information release

Serious injury at Bulga Surface Operations open cut coal mine 23 July 2018

Photograph 1: Damaged nose of haul truck. Photograph by Major Investigation Unit.
Damaged nose of haul truck. Photograph by Major Investigation Unit.
A worker suffered serious leg injuries during a nose-to-tail collision between two rear dump haul trucks. The injured worker was transported to hospital for treatment. The NSW Resources Regulator has commenced an investigation into the incident.

Further information
For further details, photographs and access to relevant guidance materials, download a copy of the full report using the link below. 
Bulga Coal investigation information release [PDF, 295 KB]

Wongawilli Colliery investigation report

Fatality on surface of underground coal mine at Wongawilli Colliery on 1 June 2017

On 1 June 2017, a worker, aged 48, and contractors were conducting soil sampling and clean-up works around the Wongawilli No.1 ventilation shaft as part of the rehabilitation of the disused mine surface infrastructure.

The worker told contractors he felt unwell and left the work site alone in a light vehicle to seek medical attention. The worker was later found by the contractors lying on the ground near the light vehicle on the access road about 1.5 kilometres from the ventilation shaft.

The NSW Ambulance Service responded to the emergency call and determined that the worker was deceased.

Further information
For further details and access to related publications download a copy of the full report using the link below. 
Wongawilli Colliery - Investigation report [PDF, 95 KB]

2018 NSW Mining Health, Safety, Environment & Community Conference and Awards

The NSW Resources Regulator recently attended the 2018 NSW Minerals Council Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference and Awards event held at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley from the 5th to 7th August. The conference has been a pivotal part of the mining health and safety landscape for more than 20 years and provides the regulator with a valuable opportunity to engage directly with those people responsible for safety at mines.

The annual conference, opened by Don Harwin the Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities and Minister for the Arts attracted more than 540 senior mining industry personnel and provided a forum to discuss significant issues and challenges, learn from past failings, identify innovation opportunities and celebrate industry excellence.

The conference featured a range of speakers from industry and government focusing on breakthroughs in workplace health and safety, community relations and environmental management.

The regulator’s Chief Inspector Garvin Burns delivered a presentation that focused on a series of recent near-misses which had the potential for significant consequences. The Chief Inspector expressed deep concern regarding the nature and frequency of these events, stressed the importance of implementing the hierarchy of controls and highlighted the overwhelming reliance on low-order administrative controls as a common feature across all the recent near-miss events.

Attendees were asked to contribute strategies aimed at turning this trend around. Responses included sharing learnings, consideration of organisational factors in incidents, monitoring of control effectiveness, and workers taking more accountability for safety outcomes.

The Chief Inspector closed by emphasising that this marked the start of an ongoing conversation between industry and the regulator, a sentiment further reinforced by Chief Compliance Officer Anthony Keon who indicated the regulator’s intention to progress with organising an industry round-table.

Another key element of the Resources Regulator’s presentation was an update on the development of its Learning from disasters training course. This course aims to ensure the lessons from past tragedies are not overlooked by current-day mineworkers and mine operators.

The NSW Mining Health, Safety, Environment and Community Awards were another feature of the event, showcasing innovation from across the industry. The finalists were chosen for their breakthroughs and achievement in worker health and mine safety.

For more information on the 2018 awards finalists and winners use the link below.
Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference 2018 Award Winners

Preventing fires on mobile plant

A review of data has identified a concerning increase of reports of fires on mobile plant in New South Wales.

The reported fires have generally been caused by either the escape of fluids ignited by the hot surface of an engine, or electrical wiring faults.

The Resources Regulator has developed a discussion paper as a first step in consultation about the use and possible regulation of mitigation strategies for the prevention of fires on mobile plant. The Resources Regulator seeks your feedback on the current and future use of fire-resistant fluid in mobile plant in New South Wales mines and other solutions, for example surface temperature control by water jacketing and other methods, to reduce the number of fires on mobile plant.

You are invited to respond to some or all the questions posed in this discussion paper and provide any additional information on matters you think should be considered in relation to the use of fire-resistant fluids in mobile plant in mining applications.

Feedback closes: 14 September 2018

Further information
For more details on preventing fires on mobile plant visit the Resource Regulator Preventing fires on mobile plant online resource. To download the discussion paper and feedback form directly use the links provided below. 
Discussion paper: Preventing Fires on Mobile Plant - August 2018 [PDF, 292.16 KB]
Feedback form: Fires on mobile plant discussion questions [DOCX, 3.9 MB]

Airborne contaminants - new guidance material available

Airborne contaminants are generated during mining activities and can be a risk to health if not properly managed. 

Airborne contaminant means a contaminant in the form of a fume, mist, gas, vapour or dust and includes microorganisms. An airborne contaminant of this type is a potentially harmful substance that is either not naturally in the air, or is present in an unnaturally high concentration, and to which workers may be exposed in their working environment (see SafeWork Australia).

The Resources Regulator have recently developed and published the following new guidance material for the NSW mining and petroleum industries:

  • Airborne contaminants principal hazard management plan guide
    A principal hazard management plan (PHMP) forms part of the safety management system (SMS) for a mine. Airborne contaminants are identified as a principal hazard in Schedule 1 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 (WHSMPS Regulation). The PHMP is a document that sets out how the mine operator will manage risks associated with airborne contaminants at the mine.
  • Dust safety in the metals and extractives industries
    The safety information booklet provides guidance to workers regarding exposure to dust generated by mining and quarrying activities.
For further information visit the Health management overview - Airborne contaminants section of the Resources Regulator website or download the new guidance materials using the links below:
Airborne contaminants principal hazard management plan [PDF, 1.1 MB]
Dust safety in the metals and extractives industries [PDF, 4.2 MB]

Call for expressions of interest to be MSAC Chairperson

Expressions of interest are sought from suitably qualified people to be considered for appointment as the independent chairperson of the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council. The chairperson and members of the council are appointed by the Minister for Resources under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013. The council meets four to six times each year.
The council’s function is to provide advice to the Minister for Resources on matters relating to health and safety in the NSW mining and extractives industry. The council membership is made up of high level stakeholders representing employers and workers within the industry.

The MSAC Chairperson should be independent of mining industry stakeholders. It is not essential to have WHS or mining industry experience, although it would be beneficial.

For further information visit the NSW Mines Safety Advisory Council webpage.

Expressions of interest close: 5pm Friday, 17 August 2018. 

Click here to download the expressions of interest pack

NSW Resources Regulator – now recruiting!

The Resources Regulator is the NSW Government’s regulatory agency responsible for enforcement of Work Health and Safety and regulatory compliance, including mine rehabilitation obligations, at NSW mines and petroleum sites.

Our business is made up of 10 branches under two streams, each headed by an Executive Director. All our branches work in synergy to achieve our strategic objectives. For more information about our structure and what we do, click here.

We are growing! The following vacancies are now open, with base salaries ranging from $70,652 to $158,432.
  • Admin Officer, Maitland, Clerk 3/4
  • Project Officer (Executive Operations), Maitland, Clerk Grade 7/8
  • Assistant Project Officer, Maitland, Clerk 5/6
  • Integrity & Assurance Officer, Maitland, Clerk 9/10
  • Senior Project Officer (Geospatial), Maitland, Clerk 9/10
  • Manager Innovation Projects, Maitland, Clerk 11/12
  • Manager Capability Development, Maitland, Clerk 11/12
  • Senior Project Officer (Capability), Maitland, Clerk 9/10
  • Administrative Officer, Maitland, Clerk 3/4
  • Executive Assistant, Maitland, Clerk Grade 7/8
  • Manager Industry Engagement, Maitland, Clerk Grade 11/12
  • Senior Inspector Environment, Maitland, DPO IV
  • Investigator, Maitland, Inspector Grade 1
  • Senior Project Officer (Monitoring & Evaluation), Maitland, Clerk 9/10
  • Principal Compliance Officer Assessment & Coordination, Maitland, Mine Safety Officer Grade 2
  • Compliance Officer, Maitland, Clerk 5/6
  • Senior Inspector Environment, Maitland, Departmental Professional Officer Grade 4
  • Inspector Environment  Departmental Professional Officer, Maitland, Grade 3 
For further information on vacancies and applications, click here!
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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