Mine safety im­proves as ma­jor in­juries drop

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - Martin Rasini

QUEENS­LAND lifted its mine safety per­for­mance in 2009-10, record­ing falls in most in­jury classes.

A re­port by the Mines In­spec­torate shows med­i­cal treat­ment in­juries al­most halved, fall­ing from 924 the pre­vi­ous year to 546, while dis­abling in­juries – re­quir­ing staff to be placed on al­ter­nate du­ties – dropped to 413 from 417.

Lost-time in­juries also recorded a fall to 285 from 301, and days lost to lost-time in­juries were cut by over 7000 – from 17,387 to 10,335.

Days lost to dis­abling in­juries fell from 12,346 to 9306, av­er­age days lost per in­jury fell from 41.4 to 28.1, and in­jury sever­ity rate was cut from 337 to 239 days lost per mil­lion hours worked.

Fig­ures to rise were the lost-time in­jury fre­quency rate, up from 3.4 to 3.5 in­juries per mil­lion hours worked, and the num­ber of per­ma­nent in­ca­pac­i­ties, which rose from 39 to 47.

The re­port, how­ever, was not all good news.

It noted one death, which led to a statewide au­dit of brakes on ve­hi­cles and un­cov­ered ‘‘many ex­am­ples of very poor prac­tice’’.

The re­port said anal­y­sis of lost­time in­juries in­di­cated work­ers aged 50 or more took longer on av­er­age to re­cover.

In­juries com­mon to all age-groups in­cluded sprains, strains, frac­tures and con­tu­sions along with falls, trips and mus­cu­lar stress due to lift­ing, car­ry­ing and from work­ing with earth­mov­ing equip­ment.

‘‘ Be­ing hit by a mov­ing or fall­ing ob­ject is more preva­lent among younger work­ers,’’ the re­port said.

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