WorkSafe WA waits to publish incident reports

WorkSafe WA, the workplace safety watchdog part of the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety (DEMIRS), is still to publish recent annual and quarterly reports on state government websites. 

A WorkSafe spokesperson tells Mining.com.au that the department responsible for enforcing work health and safety laws and promoting safe work practices in WA has delayed some publications and prioritised others, “due to the implementation of work health and safety legislations”.

WorkSafe expects to release data from previous periods later this quarter.

The Western Australian government’s latest industry statistics report was published in October 2023, namely the ‘Mining in the Western Australian Workers’ Compensation Scheme’. 

This report provides insight into claims activity within the Western Australian Workers’ Compensation scheme over a 4-year period. 

For Western Australia, the latest quarterly report was published in June 2023, which reported 128 formal complaints from workers on mine sites as of 30 June 2023, exceeding 100 for the first time since the establishment of the report in 2020. 

The WorkSafe spokesperson says: “WorkSafe continues to provide information, education, and compliance services to ensure that industry meets its compliance obligations, and WorkSafe leaders will be speaking about work health and safety issues in mining at the International Mine Health and Safety Conference 2024 in April.”

Meanwhile, The WorkSafe Mines Safety inspectorate has identified a trend of mine operators with a poor understanding of the requirement to develop a mine safety management system (MSMS), and mines that have not adequately implemented the MSMS. 

All mines were required to have a fully-developed MSMS by 31 March 2023. All required site-specific documentation, risk assessments, controls, structures, and statutory appointments should be fully documented with processes in place to implement the MSMS.

Where there is a common MSMS framework in place for mine operators with more than one mining operation, this framework must then be adapted for the specific hazards and risks at each mine site. A common or generic MSMS does not meet the requirements of managing hazards and risks across different workplaces.

All mines must have a deployed and functioning MSMS by 31 March 2024. The framework and associated components must be fully implemented and operational.

The MSMS must be readily available to any worker at the mine and provided to allow workers to understand the hazards, risks, and controls that are in place to ensure they are not exposed to harm while at work.

The Mines Safety inspectorate will take regulatory action where appropriate in instances where it is identified that the MSMS has not been fully developed as required.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.