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 to 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 Lowdnes and Russell White (Driver Safety Australia). The message is clear – travelling safe 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 have 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);
- Fatigue related issues for workers transiting after shifts; and
Australasian Mine Safety Journal (AMSJ) is proud to be a champion of safe to work initiatives since 2005 and has consistently promoted awareness of safe work travel across the industry for more than 13 years. AMSJ is looking forward to working with the industry to promote a positive safe to work message to its’ audience of more than 40,000 Australian mining industry personnel.