Service remembers coal miners lost in Ipswich region
Attendees at a memorial service to remember the 186 coal miners who lost their lives in the Ipswich and Rosewood region between 1858 and 1997 were told about the importance of continuing to improve safety standards in the Queensland coal mining industry.
Commissioner for Resources Safety and Health Kate du Preez spoke to family members, friends and colleagues at the memorial service dedicated to the men and boys on 4 December 2020 at the Ipswich and Rosewood Coal Miners' Memorial.
As a coal miner herself, Kate told attendees that she understood the close knit bonds that developed in coal mining towns like Ipswich and the devastating effects that mining accidents have on the whole community.
“Ripples from these tragic events continue to have a deep and ongoing impact on families, colleagues, and the broader community for generations afterwards,” she said.
Kate said the industry owed it to the 186 men and boys whose names appeared on the memorial—and their families and communities and the 53,000 people who currently work in the mining industry—to do everything possible to learn from the tragedy of their passing.
“We must learn from history, from every past event where someone was seriously injured or killed at a mine,” she said.
“This can only be achieved by industry focussing its efforts and its commitment—from pit bottom to the boardroom—on encouraging open reporting of incidents, on being obsessed with investigating minor incidents and near misses in order to use this information to prevent failures from occurring, and most importantly, on learning the critical lessons that come with them.
“We must make sure that we understand what went wrong and we must make sure that the whole industry understands and puts measures in place to prevent the same thing happening again.
“Every worker, no matter the industry, has the right to go home safe and healthy at the end of every day.”
Last updated: 08 Dec 2020