Feb 6, 2020
Were the mining deaths in Queensland, Australia avoidable? Industry experts are attributing these tragedies to a "fatality cycle", a term used in the mining industry that describes a lack of safety leadership. In a fatality cycle, there is an uptick in vigilance after a tragedy followed by a downward trend in safety. Worker deaths create an increased safety culture but only for a short amount of time.
A comprehensive overview detailing the leadup and response to the mining disaster was just recently released in a report entitled "Review of all fatal accidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019. In the study led by structural engineer Dr. Sean Brady, 47 Queensland mining deaths are reviewed and analyzed. In just the past two years alone, eight mine and quarry workers were killed in Queensland.
The report has been the catalyst for a proposal of new laws that would hold mine and quarry executives accountable for deaths on their watch. If found guilty of industrial manslaughter, penalties could be as stiff as two decades in jail. What has caused this fatalism amongst mining companies? It's time to make the impossible possible and take a stand for an incident and injury-free workplace in mines and quarries.
Avoidable mining deaths in Queensland, Australia are attributable to a ‘fatality cycle’, a pattern in the mining sector where there is an increase then decrease in vigilance; increased safety measures are observed for only a short time following worker deaths. This was the conclusion of a comprehensive review of the mining sector made public by the state government today.
The report, Review of all fatal accidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019, by author and forensic structural engineer Dr Sean Brady, reviews a total of 47 deaths in Queensland’s mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019. It follows the deaths of eight mine and quarry workers in Queensland over the past two years.
The report was commissioned last year by Queensland government mines minister Anthony Lynham, who this week proposed new laws which could see mine and quarry executives facing 20 years in jail if found guilty of industrial manslaughter.