All the latest news in mine health and safety in NSW
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13 June 2018
In this issue:

Regulator’s compliance blitz gets results

The Resources Regulator has focused the NSW mining and petroleum sectors on their compliance obligations during its state-wide blitz into issues ranging from work health and safety to mine site rehabilitation.

Eighty inspectors and regulatory officers from the safety, environment and compliance teams visited 109 mine and petroleum sites across the state last week in the largest operational deployment of personnel and resources ever conducted by the Resources Regulator.

The operation generally found good compliance with legislative obligations. However, a number of issues were identified at a small number of sites – in particular in relation to plant and equipment – resulting in 28 prohibition notices being issued at 12 sites.

A further 35 improvement notices and 33 notices of concern were issued in relation to WHS requirements, while eight potential breaches of the Mining Act were identified for investigation.

Resources Regulator’s Deputy Secretary Lee Shearer said the blitz had been successful after it identified appropriate compliance by mine and petroleum site operators, as well as issues ranging from work health and safety to mine site rehabilitation.

“Overall, standards being upheld by operators across the NSW mining industry were positive, with inspectors finding generally good compliance rates in relation to rehabilitation activities and work health and safety obligations,” Ms Shearer said.

“Unfortunately, there were a small number of operators who fell short of expectations and this was addressed by enforcement action.

“Mine operators need to remain vigilant and constantly review their operations to ensure compliance obligations are being met and workers are not exposed to risk. We take a zero-tolerance approach to operators failing to meet their requirements and will continue to undertake unannounced inspections and compliance operations to ensure this is the case.”

The compliance operation focused on the following key areas:
  • roads and vehicle operating areas at large surface mines and underground metalliferous mines
  • ground and strata failure in all underground mines
  • safe operation of mobile plant at quarrying operations
  • rehabilitation and dam monitoring.
The compliance operation saw inspectors and regulatory officers visit sites across the state including:
  • Hunter Valley – 30
  • South East - 17
  • North West - 16
  • Central West – 13
  • Far West – 13
  • Sydney region – 13
  • North Coast – 6
  • South West – 1

Quarry identifying competencies focus group

The NSW Resources Regulator is conducting a focus group to identify competencies for the mine safety statutory functions in quarries

The focus group is part of a project being facilitated by Chandler & Macleod to identify the competencies from the descriptions of the statutory functions developed for the following functions at quarries:
  • Quarry Manager
  • Electrical engineer
Chandler & Macleod are looking for people who are practising in the statutory functions and interested in discussing the competencies required to exercise them.

The competencies identified will be considered by the NSW Resources Regulator in consultation with the NSW Mining and Petroleum Competence Board. A gap analysis will be undertaken against the current pre-requisites and examinations for certificates of competence to identify any improvements.

The focus group for up to 12 participants will be held at: 

Venue: Parramatta RSL, 2 Macquarie Street, Parramatta
Date: Tuesday 19 June 2018
Time: 10 - 1pm (lunch to be served afterwards)
(Note: if there are insufficient people for this date, then it may be rescheduled to Thursday 28 or Friday 29 June 2018)

Register your interest

To register your interest to attend the focus group or obtain more information, please contact the Mining Competence Team by this Friday 15 June 2018 (including availability for the alternative dates):

Phone: 1300 736 122
Practising certificates - Stage 4 applications now open

Practising certificate applications are now open for the following statutory functions:
  • Deputy of underground coal mines
  • Underground mine supervisor of underground mines other than coal mines
If you currently hold a certificate of competence, you will need to apply for a practising certificate to exercise specific statutory functions as required under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014. Practising certificates are issued for five years and require the holder to undertake ongoing learning as part of the maintenance of competence scheme.

Practising certificates are being launched in stages, by type of practising certificate. To find out upcoming application dates for other statutory functions, view our implementation timeline

How to apply 
To apply for a practising certificate for a statutory function listed above, complete and submit the Practising certificate application form available on our website. The implementation period for these functions is open until 31 May 2019.

More information 
Information on the maintenance of competence scheme and practising certificates is available on our website including frequently asked questions. For further advice contact the NSW Resources Regulator’s Mining competence team on 02 4063 6461 or email

Coal Services Order 43 due to take effect from 1 July 2018

Coal Services Order 43 is made under section 13 of the Coal Industry Act 2001. The Order is in relation to health monitoring requirements for coal mine workers in NSW and has been approved by the Minister for Resources to replace Order 41 on 1 July 2018.  Order 43 was published in the NSW Government Gazette on 4 May 2018.

Order 43 establishes a similar standard for monitoring of occupational lung disease in coal mine workers to that adopted in Queensland following the Queensland Parliamentary inquiry into the re-emergence of Coal Worker Pneumoconiosis.

Further information
For updates and further information visit the Coal Services website using the button provided below.
Also available for download below is Order 43 (pages 2776-2781), published in the NSW Government Gazette on 4 May 2018.
Order 43 - Further information and updates from Coal Services
Download Gazette No.48 Order 43 (Pages 2776-2781) [PDF, 201 KB]

Recent amendments to the Coal Industry Act 2001

The Coal Industry Amendment Bill 2018 was passed in the NSW Parliament on 16 May 2018 to amend the Coal Industry Act 2001. This change is intended to restore the original intention of the Act to ensure that all coal industry workers are required to be insured under the Coal Mines Insurance scheme.

Section 31 of the Act requires employers in the coal industry to obtain workers compensation insurance from an approved workers compensation company for their employees in that industry. Currently, the approved workers compensation company under the Act is Coal Mines Insurance.

The Act now includes a definition of employer in the coal industry to make it clear that any employer whose employees work in or about a coal mine is required to be insured with an approved workers compensation company with respect to those employees and their employment in or about a coal mine.

Any employer of employees who work in or about a coal mine will be required by legislation to obtain workers compensation from Coal Mines Insurance commencing 1 July 2018. For information on obtaining a policy with Coal Mines Insurance please contact Insurance Services team email or 02 8270 3257.

Further information
If you require any further information about the legislative changes please email
NSW Government,
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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