A new report says a major safety overhaul is needed in Queensland's mining sector. Image by PR HANDOUT IMAGE PHOTO

Mining and Resources

Change or face Qld mine deaths: review

2020-02-08 03:35:08

Workers will continue to die in Queensland mines unless the industry overhauls the way it operates, a review into mining deaths has found. 

The review of the deaths of 47 people at mines and quarries across Queensland in the past 20 years has made scathing findings against the industry. 

Most of those deaths were entirely preventable, forensic structural engineer Dr Sean Brady’s analysis found. 

“Almost all of the fatalities were the result of systemic, organisational, supervision or training failures, either with or without the presence of human error,” he wrote in a report for the state’s mines department.

Workers are being put into situations without proper training and supervision and the industry is operating in a death cycle, with around 12 deaths likely to occur every five years based on previous patterns.

“Perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks to reducing the number of fatalities is how the mining industry views itself,” Dr Brady added.

“Mining is a hazardous industry, but that doesn’t mean that workers and their families must continue to suffer the consequences of these hazards.”

Two government committees will consider Dr Brady’s findings along with two University of Queensland reviews of existing laws before making recommendations to Mines Minister Anthony Lynham.

They are expected to identify key priorities, including potential changes to the law to force industry reforms.