New mining safety regulation changes are set across some jurisdictions commencing from early January 2020.
New South Wales
In New South Wales the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Amendment Regulation 2019 has implemented a number of changes to come into effect from 1 February 2020.
Some of the major changes include:
- Delayed implementation of the National Exposure Standard for diesel particulate matter;
- Additional requirement for notifications of high potential incidents particularly in relation to:
- an uncontrolled fire on mobile plant that is in operation (whether operated directly, remotely or autonomously)
- a loss of control of heavy earthmoving machinery that is operated remotely or autonomously, including any failure of braking or steering
- spontaneous combustion occurring at the surface of a coal mine (including an underground coal mine) plus additional requirements for spontaneous combustion to be notified as a dangerous incident only if there is exposure to serious risk.
- introducing a high-risk activity notification for the establishment, operation, alteration or decommissioning of a tailings storage facility at a metalliferous mine (excluding opal mines), with appropriate transition provisions.
- expanding the range of offences for which penalty notices can be issued.
For a full list of updates, you can find additional information on the NSW Regulator’s website
Queensland will amend gas monitoring requirements underground coal mines with the introduction of the Coal Mining Safety and Health (Methane Monitoring and Ventilation Systems) Amendment Regulation 2019. The new regulations, which come into force from 6 January 2020, and will seek to place tighter controls on methane monitoring in underground coal mines
The new regulations will require coal mine operators to place additional methane monitors in the longwall tailgate return airway and ensure boundaries of explosion risk zones (ERZ) are clearly signposted.
Queensland has also introduced a number of new bills to reform mine safety across the state but they are unlikely to be implemented until later in 2020.
You can read the updated gas legislation here
The Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (the Amendment Act) was enacted on 29 March 2019, making changes to the Explosives Act 1999 (the Explosives Act) and Explosives Regulation 2017 (the Regulation). The Regulation comes into effect from 1 February 2020.
The Amendment Act made a number changes to the Explosives Act and Regulation to:
- ensure persons with unsupervised access to security-sensitive explosives have undergone appropriate security assessment and hold a security clearance (transitional period will apply)
- provide security-cleared workers with a card that is recognised between employers
- ensure persons subject to domestic violence orders are prohibited from holding a security clearance or an explosives authority
- incorporate existing duties and obligations regarding the security of explosives, currently applied through conditions of licences and policies, into the legislation
- ensure explosives authority holders have, and give effect to, an explosives safety and security management system that includes a security plan
- introduce a new explosives driver licence for persons driving vehicles for the transportation of explosives, aligning with requirements for explosives drivers in other states (transitional period will apply)
- introduce new powers for the chief inspector to approve or prohibit certain routes, areas and times for transporting explosives
- align the Explosives Act with other relevant legislation such as the Weapons Act 1990 and Queensland’s mining safety laws
- enable the Explosives Inspectorate to undertake more-effective monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities.
The Western Australian Government has introduced the Work Health & Safety Bill 2019 (WA) to Parliament but it is not expected to be enacted until some time in 2020.
From 1 January large companies must have whistleblower policies under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) The changes which give greater protection for whistleblowers were implemented in 1 July 2019. Public companies, large proprietary companies, and corporate trustees of APRA-regulated superannuation entities must have a whistleblower policy from 1 January 2020.
Help us add to this list of mining safety regulation changes in 2020. Leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com if you are aware of any other changes that may affect mining safety in 2020.
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