While Australian mining companies have demonstrated a consistent focus over the last two decades on getting miners safe to work, some are questioning what needs to be done to improve safety while travelling to and from site, or between sites.
With mine worker road related travel incidents a key area of concern, the Australian mining industry is moving to apply a safe work mantra. Incidents like that of April, 2018 where a contractor working on an Australian mining site (Grasstree)was killed in transit in a head on collision with another vehicle have resulted in a refocus on safe travel and ensuring safe to work outcomes are achieved.
The CFMEU has long championed the mantra that “Every working person has the right to come home safe” but does that extend to getting an individual safe to work? With travel injuries, one of the key issues for the industry, conferences like the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference have been quick to implement education programs to alert the industry to the issues of safe driving. In 2018, the conference enlisted the help of key road safety advocates including former racing driver Craig Lowndes and Russell White (Driver Safety Australia). The message is clear – travelling safely to work is now a non-negotiable for the Australian mining industry. In addition to conferences, a range of organisations such as the Australian Road Safety Foundation has been working with the industry to improve awareness of issues associated with motor vehicle travel. Top issues identified in the industry include:
The use of mobile phones while driving (outside of mine sites) and fatigue-related issues for workers transiting after shifts.
There are many resources available for individuals and organisations. Safework Australia, Australasian Mine Safety Journal, NSW Resources Regulator, Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety WA, Queensland Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy all have a range of comprehensive information available.
According to Australian Government sources, in 2017 32% of work-related fatalities involved a vehicle collision. Some of those injuries may have occurred while driving for work.
Australasian Mine Safety Journal (AMSJ) is proud to be a champion of mine safety initiatives since 2005 and has consistently promoted awareness of safe travel across the industry for more than 13 years. AMSJ is looking forward to working with the industry to promote a positive safe work message to its’ audience of more than 40,000 Australian mining industry personnel.
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