12th July 2019

The NSW Resources Regulator has completed its latest state-wide compliance blitz of 112 unannounced inspections at coal, metalliferous and quarrying operations across the state.

Around 85 safety and compliance inspectors completed the blitz between 17 and 21 June to ensure operators were meeting their obligations under the Mining Act and work, health and safety laws.

Resources Regulator Executive Director Anthony Keon said while a small number of sites failed to comply with their statutory obligations, overall standards were high.

“The majority of mines inspected displayed a high level of compliance and so the community can have confidence that most operators are meeting their rehabilitation and work, health and safety obligations,” he said.

“Of 112 mine and petroleum sites inspected, only eight were identified as being potentially non-compliant with mining laws, and six sites were issued urgent prohibition notices to cease unsafe work practices.

“This is a significant improvement on the outcomes of the 2018 compliance blitz which saw 26 prohibition notices being issued and eight potential breaches under the Mining Act.

“The Regulator will now consider appropriate actions for those operators found to be non-compliant.

“Inspectors also issued 54 improvement notices for operators to improve safety practices through better communications and systems,” he said.

Mr Keon said the Regulator takes a zero-tolerance approach to operators failing to meet their statutory obligations.

“While this exercise shows standards are broadly positive across the NSW mining industry, recent fatalities in other jurisdictions are a stark reminder that operators must remain vigilant,” he said.

The Resources Regulator’s compliance blitz focused on the following key areas:

  • Supervision and instruction of workers
  • Safety duties
  • Unsafe plant and equipment
  • Mine rehabilitation
  • Tailings dam management
  • Conditions of mining authorisations

A full report and snapshot of the compliance blitz is available at https://www.resourcesregulator.nsw.gov.au/compliance-and-enforcement