DMP reports drop in fatalities at West Australian mines

28 April 2014 (Last Updated April 28th, 2014 18:30)

The number of mining-related fatalities in West Australian mines has significantly dropped over the past 13 years, according to a report by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

The number of mining-related fatalities in West Australian mines has significantly dropped over the past 13 years, according to a report by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

The report is aimed at raising awareness and improving safety performance within the mining industry.

DMP Resources Safety executive director Simon Ridge said that the report analysed 52 fatal mining accidents that occurred in Western Australia between 2000 and 2012.

"In the 13-year period reviewed, the mining workforce rapidly increased from 40,000 people to 100,000," Ridge said.

"Despite this, the number of fatalities per year showed a downward trend from seven in 2000 to zero in 2012, when the state recorded its first fatality free year in over a century of recorded history."

"The results of the report would help reduce worker exposure to hazards and situations that could potentially be fatal." 

The report stated that the common reason for fatality was not identifying hazards in the workplace and that common 'trigger actions' for fatal accidents were equipment not being isolated and the incorrect use of safety harness equipment.

Ridge said that the results of the report would help reduce worker exposure to hazards and situations that could potentially be fatal.

The report revealed that almost half of the fatal accidents occurred when the person involved had been working at a mine site for less than a year.

"Fatigue was another contributing factor in the review, with the most common time of day for a fatal accident to occur being the last two hours of a typical day shift when a worker is more likely to lose concentration," Ridge added.

These findings identified the importance of a safety induction programme, improved safety culture and the effective implementation of management plans.

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