Merry Christmas from the Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health and a happy new year
Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year from the Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health Kate du Preez.
I would like to wish everyone who works in the resources industry a very safe and healthy Christmas. I hope that you manage to spend some well-earned time with loved ones in peace and celebration.
Christmas is a time of reflection and renewal—a time to look back on the past 12 months and a time to plan ahead for the new year.
Sadly, there have been two fatalities in coal mines in 2021 and I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those men. Everyone has the right to return home safe and healthy at the end of every shift. These tragic events continue to have deep and ongoing impact on families, colleagues and the broader community and, as an industry, we must do more to prevent serious harm in our workplaces.
I would also like to reiterate my thanks again this year to everyone in the resources sector who has worked tirelessly to keep the industry running throughout the COVID–19 pandemic. I have been impressed with the way that government, unions and employers have continued to work together to provide dynamic and flexible solutions that have maintained a common focus on the safety and health of workers.
COVID–19 has disrupted the resources industry and everyday life, and a great deal of effort has gone into managing the additional risks. As we approach two years since the start of the pandemic, the risk of pandemic fatigue grows ever more present. Now is the time—more than ever—to ask, “Are you OK?”
While we must remain vigilant to the risks COVID–19 poses to the community—and to the industry—and continue to follow the guidance of the health experts, we must also remember that the resources industry presents various hazards that have significant consequences. We must continue to manage these hazards through effective risk management strategies. We need to ensure that hazards are identified correctly, controls are implemented effectively and that we are consistently verifying the effectiveness of the controls we have in place.
Over the last few years, several reviews have been conducted which have pointed out failures that have occurred in the resources industry, These reviews have served as a catalyst for change, and I have seen how this has been driving conversations and the sharing of information from shop floor to boardroom across companies and industry sectors. These conversations allow our industry to continue to on its journey towards becoming a high reliability industry—a learning industry.
As the year comes to a close, I want to thank everyone who works in the resources industry for their outstanding efforts, particularly those Queensland Mines Rescue Service members who always respond when needed, often working in very difficult physical conditions. I would also like to thank all stakeholders that have contributed their passion, time and effort during conferences, workshops and advisory committee meetings to ensure workers are able to go home safe and healthy at the end of each day.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Kate du Preez
Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health
Last updated: 17 Dec 2021