Easy OHS

Miners call for 'significant change' in safety law

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Western Australia's Chamber of Minerals and Energy says the weekend death of a BHP Billiton worker highlights the need for a major mine safety reform.

Operations at BHP's Perseverance nickel mine at Leinster, in the Goldfields, have been suspended while the accident is investigated.

The man died after the underground truck he was driving fell about 20 metres down a hole.

The same site was temporarily shut down last year after two rock falls left three employees trapped underground for several hours.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy's Reg Howard-Smith wants the State Government to fast-track the development of a new safety model.

"As far as mine safety is concerned I think it's time for a significant change," he says.

"That's a change away from a system which has been in place for many years.

"It's what we call a risk-based system and that's not talking about taking risks but it's about assessing the risks and making sure that those risks that do exist are really what is being addressed."

Mr Howard-Smith says calls for another inquiry into mine safety are premature.

"There's been many inquiries... in fact there's been about five inquiries in the last seven years and we think the direction is quite clear. We must move with significant legislative change rather than going through yet another broad inquiry."

The Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore says a risk-based assessment program is in the process of being introduced across the industry.

Operations at the Leinster mine have been suspended while the weekend death is investigated.


    Download now for Free