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Level 1 emergency exercise tests industry preparedness

08 December 2020

Anglo American's Moranbah North coal mine recently hosted the 2020 Queensland coal mining industry level 1 emergency exercise.

The mine responded to a simulated underground fire which required a full mine evacuation and the deployment of Queensland Mines Rescue Service personnel to locate a worker missing underground.

Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health Kate du Preez said level 1 exercises were an essential test of the Queensland coal mining industry’s ability to respond to a large-scale emergency situation.

“Level 1 exercises are the most comprehensive test of the industry’s preparedness to respond to a major emergency in an underground coal mine and provide learnings and recommendations for all underground coal mines in Queensland,” Kate said.

“During the exercise, the mine must respond to the scenario as they would to a real emergency and this can involve requesting mines rescue trained personnel from other mines and coordinating with other relevant agencies.”

Kate said this year’s scenario involved 29 assessors from across the Queensland coal mining industry.

“Assessors came from Kestrel, Grosvenor, Moranbah North, Broadmeadow, Oaky North, Carborough Downs and Grasstree mines, as well as from Resources Safety and Health Queensland, Simtars, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, and the University of Queensland Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre,” Kate said.

“I would like to congratulate Moranbah North on running a successful exercise and all the assessors for contributing their knowledge, time and experience.”

All Queensland underground coal mines must run annual simulations to test their readiness for emergencies. In addition to their own exercises, each year one mine hosts the state's level 1 emergency exercise.

Level 1 exercises have been held annually since 1998 and are the result of a recommendation made by the Queensland Mining Warden's inquiry into the explosion at the Moura No. 2 Mine in August 1994.

Reports from previous level 1 exercises can be found on the Queensland Government website.

Last updated: 08 Dec 2020