The ability of mining companies to respond in emergencies will be put to the test in the coming months as the Goldfields and Perth play host to mine emergency response competitions.
Resources Safety Division Executive Director Simon Ridge said such competitions reinforced the importance of mine rescue in Western Australia.
“The competitions are an important way to gauge the capacity of mine sites to deal with on-site emergencies,” Mr Ridge said.
“It gives emergency response teams a good understanding of what their strengths are and the areas where they can improve. This is vital in ensuring competence across all areas of mine emergency response.”
This year’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy Underground Emergency Response Competition will be held at the Mount Charlotte underground mine in Kalgoorlie starting 31 October.
The department will provide adjudicators for the incident management event and has sponsored the breathing apparatus event.
On 29 and 30 November, Perth will host the annual MERC: Mining Emergency Response Competition.
The event is held at Langley Park and is an opportunity for the general public to see how mines respond to a variety of emergency scenarios. Last year’s event attracted more than 300 participants and volunteers.
In the past three years the event has raised more than $145,000 for Miners’ Promise. Money raised from this year’s event will be donated to charities nominated by the competing teams.
Mr Ridge said the department was sponsoring the Emergency Response Team Readiness event in this year’s competition.
“The experience and knowledge teams receive by participating in such competitions is invaluable,” Mr Ridge said.
“Workers from all the sites that have teams in these competitions can be assured of the priority their companies give to having well trained rescue teams.
“The commitment to emergency response shown by the teams and companies involved should never be taken for granted.
“Having skilled mine rescue teams should not be seen as a luxury but as a necessity.”