Almost 50,000 mine and quarry workers in Queensland have participated in safety reset sessions.
Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham told regional Parliament in Townsville on Thursday that 96 percent of the Queenslanders who work in the state’s mines and large quarries had attended safety session resets.
“In July, this Government, workers’ representatives and industry committed to work together and conduct safety reset sessions at every worksite, attended by every worker, by the end of August,” he told Parliament.
“Today, I can advise the house that more than 49,400 workers have joined management and union representatives to take part in 1115 safety resets at more than 219 mines and quarries.
“I am pleased that the safety resets have been embraced but this is not the end. This is just the beginning – as every shift should be when it comes to safety.
“Workers, unions, industry, and government must all continue to work tirelessly so that every worker returns home safely after every shift.
“The most important thing to come off site is Queensland’s workers.”
Dr. Lynham urged workers who have not participated in a reset to come forward.
“If any worker at any site has not had a reasonable opportunity to participate in a reset – please raise this immediately with your union or your employer,” he said.
“I encourage companies to examine attendance records to ascertain which employees – if any – have not attended a reset so catch-up sessions can be organised if required in the coming weeks.”
Dr. Lynham also told Parliament that the remaining workers who had not attended reset were itinerant or campaign-based quarry workers or people working on alluvial and small scale mines across several hundred sites.
Workers, employers, unions government and industry peak bodies committed to the safety reset in July following the deaths of six mine and quarry workers in the past 12 months.
They also committed on working together to implement further reforms to improve safety in the resources sector including sanctions for reckless behaviour as well as legislative reforms.
As part of the safety response, the government will also recruit three more mines inspectors and a chief inspector of coal mining.
Two independent reviews are due to report back by the end of 2019.