The mining industry in Western Australia has come a long way. While some of that is thanks to strict health and safety regulation, a lot of it can also be contributed to the use of remote-controlled equipment taking care of the more dangerous jobs on site.
The fatality statistics may not be as bad as they once were, however, any death is a tragedy and shows there is still room for safety improvements.
- 107 miners died between 1943 and 1950.
- Between 1951 and 1960 the tally grew to 142.
- It dropped in the following decade to just 92.
- It rose again to 114 during the 1970s.
- The 1980s saw 89 miners die.
- That number for the 1990s was 71.
- In the first decade of the 2000s, the death toll in the mining industry was 42, with surface mining being the deadliest of the mining sectors.
- So, from 1943 up until the year 2010, the total death count for the industry was 657.
- As it stands, from 2011 up until the start of this year the mining death toll is just 13.
Constant improvement within the industry is reducing the risk of the industry and thanks to technology, stricter health and safety regulations and the need for rigorous risk assessments miners are increasingly safe in their job roles.
It’s difficult to say whether all of the risks will be removed from the industry, but for now, it’s the safest point in history to work in the mining industry.