Anyone involved in any type of construction including mining construction must undergo general construction safety training and when you review the figures over the last few years of the number of people who have been killed in the line of duty on mining sites, it only makes sense that the government has made the White Card a mandatory requirement throughout the Commonwealth for mining construction work.
Between the years 2000 and 2012 there were at least 52 fatal mining accidents in Western Australia alone, according to Department of Mines and Petroleum Safety Executive Director, Simon Ridge was quoted as saying in an article on SafetyCulture.com.au.
One of the recommendations made by the Department of Mines and Petroleum is that issues such as worker fatigue be addressed so that these figures decrease. The department has called for more regular breaks for mining workers who work 12 hour shifts. Understandably these workers suffer from fatigue and in this high risk environment, fatigue can prove fatal.
The following excerpt from the article on SafetyCulture.com.au explains further:
“In the 13-year period reviewed, the mining workforce rapidly increased from 40000 to 100000,” said Mr Ridge.
“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.”
“If we had a 100,000-strong workforce back in the 1950s, the average number of fatalities per year would have been around 200, so we have certainly come a long way but our ultimate goal moving forward is to become a ‘zero-harm’ industry.”
Mr Ridge was also quoted as saying that fatigue was a contributing factor in mine accidents by causing workers to lose concentration and be involved in a fatal accident. Mr Ridge was quoted as saying:
“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.”
He also called for the industry to consider a “robust safety induction program” such as the White Card induction course as well as the development of a positive safety culture and more effective implementation of fatigue management plans.
The mining industry has seen a number of fatalities even just over the last year which could be avoided with stricter health and safety adherence and controls that address fatigue as well as overall health and safety.
For those involved in mining construction it is important that workers undergo General construction safety induction training and obtain The White Card, this is a mandatory requirement and is proof that workers are accredited to work in mining construction.
The course covers in general the safety issues relating to construction which is most common as well as teaching people what the law says about occupational health and safety, an employer’s responsibility and workers’ duty of care.