Study identifies three main hazards facing WA mine workers

Image credit: by adamr

The Department of Mines and Petroleum will use the results of the 2013 Serious Injury Review report for the Western Australian mining industry to outline a safety strategy and reduce the fatality and injury rates in the state’s mining sector, Minister Bill Marmion said yesterday.

Image credit: by adamr
Image credit:
by adamr

“This analysis is critical reading for everyone in the mining industry. While injury rates have continued to drop, the trend for serious and potentially fatal injuries has now flattened. Despite a fatality free year in 2012 and six deaths in 2009, there have been on average two to three deaths per year on Western Australian mine sites. This report identifies an annual average of 200 high consequence injuries which have very similar causal factors to fatalities,” Mr Marmion said.

“Reviewing the rate of high severity injuries including amputations, fractures and crush injuries could help provide key indicators, so more efforts can be focused on critical activities linked to fatalities and serious injuries.”

The Serious Injury Review, which analysed 658 serious injuries, including three fatalities, during the six month period from 1 July to 31 December 2013, was followed up with a 2014 review of 52 fatal mining industry accidents which occurred between 2000 and 2012.

According to Minister Marmion, both reviews identified three main hazards facing mine workers: falling while working at height, being in the line of fire from objects or suspended loads, and being struck or crushed by machines or heavy components.

“The risk profiles identified in the review will help the industry better understand how to avoid dangerous and sometimes lethal workplace risks,” the Minister said, adding that the Department has been sharing the results with industry, including special presentations at the Birla Nifty, Woodie Woodie and Telfer mine sites where fatal accidents have occurred this year.

“The simple concept of ‘golden safety rules’ can reinforce critical awareness and controls, such as never start work if there is a risk of falling from height, never stand under anything that can fall on you and never place any part of your body where it can be crushed. The review is part of the Government’s wide ranging safety reform program and determination to make a difference.”

The full report is available at