AMSJ » Protecting honest employers could reduce mine fatalities says industry

Protecting honest employers could reduce mine fatalities says industry

Meandu Coal Mine

Allowing mineral producers to fully disclose incidents without risking potential legal action could prevent employee deaths, an advocacy said.

A group representing global resources companies urged the Federal Government to let them come clean about previous workplace fatalities without being fined, penalised or prosecuted.

“[The] Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has continued to advocate for incident classification and legislative reviews to better enable businesses to collaborate to improve safety. The primary goal is to allow businesses to freely share information related to serious workplace incidents without risk of prosecution or breach of legal privilege,” MCA said in its latest annual report.

Further information is proposed to be shared in addition to existing workplace exposure standards, governance, data and statistics, the incident notification framework and more.

“In the past 12 months the MCA has achieved a new level of engagement with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, the employment minister’s office, Safe Work Australia members and the state mining chambers. These all provide platforms for sharing industry concerns, highlighting unintended consequences, reducing duplication of efforts and advocating for positive and meaningful legislative change for industry. Mental health, wellbeing and psychosocial safety also remain at the forefront of the safety and health portfolio,” MCA said.

The council suggested that if member organisations did not fear legal repercussions, and shared all information with the industry, perhaps six lives might have been spared.

“Tragically, six mine workers did not return home in 2023. This makes the work of the MCA’s fatality prevention project working group all the more important,” it said.

“There is still more to be done.”

Click here to read the full annual report.

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