As the peak body for resources professionals, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) has commended the Queensland Government for its commitment to implementing a regulatory framework that responds comprehensively to the risks associated with mining operations both now and in the future.
AusIMM continues to support action against serious misconduct in the resources sector. However, it has cautioned against adverse impacts of requiring professionals in safety-critical positions to be direct employees, rather than contractors or consultants.
Commenting on employment reforms included alongside the industrial manslaughter laws tabled in parliament this week, AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin said that mining operations are diverse, technically complex, and potentially hazardous when not informed, instructed, directed and overseen by appropriately skilled professionals.
‘Proposed reforms must recognise that on-site expertise is a safety imperative. Mine operators must be able to access and engage the expert professionals necessary to operate safely.’
‘Mine operators must be able to access and engage the expert professionals necessary to operate safely.’Stephen Durkin, AusIMM CEO
Mr Durkin indicated support for resources safety laws consistent with those already in place for other industries, and queried the proposal to require all people occupying safety-critical positions to be direct employees.
‘The people performing safety-critical functions on site must have the skills and expertise necessary to ensure that a safety-first culture is put into practice. These experts may not necessarily be direct employees.’
As the trusted voice of resources professionals, with 3000 members in Queensland, AusIMM looks forward to engaging with the Queensland Parliamentary Committee tasked with reviewing this legislation.
AusIMM will seek to work with the Government on the proposed amendments, to ensure the proposed legislation delivers a real improvement to resources safety and health across the state.
Feature image: Queensland Parliament House. Photo used under CC BY-SA 2.0. By John.