Western Australia is said to have ‘reaffirmed’ its commitment to safety in the resource sector, with the appointment of seven new specialist safety inspectors.
WA revealed, the new safety specialists will take the total number of Department of Mines and Petroleum inspectors to 107, including 63 mines safety inspectors, 16 petroleum safety assessors and risk analysts, and 28 dangerous goods officers.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion believes the State Government has boosted its safety inspector workforce by nearly 30 per cent since late 2009, when the Reform and Development at Resources Safety (RADARS) strategy was first introduced.
“RADARS was established following a series of independent inquiries and mining deaths, and continues to ensure high safety standards are being maintained at WA’s 975 operational mines and 65 petroleum sites. These new expert safety inspectors are crucial to the ongoing health and wellbeing of the State’s 98,000 resources workforce. Last year, for the first time in a century, there wasn’t a single mining death in Western Australia – that’s a remarkable achievement and one that we would like to see repeated in 2013.” Mr Marmion said.
The new safety specialists reportedly share structural, mechanical, electrical, mining and petroleum engineering expertise. Four have been appointed to the mines safety inspectorate team, which carries out 2,400 site inspections a year. Three are working as petroleum safety assessors and risk analysts, performing safety documentation assessments, inspections, audits and investigations related to oil and gas operations.
The new team is currently undertaking a rigorous six-month training course. This includes familiarisation with WA safety regulation, as well as stakeholder liaison, four-wheel-drive and helicopter survival courses.