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Compliance data

Inspections and audits are fundamental to our compliance program and help drive the Queensland resources sector towards the vision of Zero Serious Harm. During inspections and audits, we provide safety advice to sites, and if risk is not being effectively managed, issue notices and directives requiring sites to improve or stop work until it can be done safely. The program provides important security, safety and health information which we share with industry stakeholders and use to continuously improve our regulatory work.

FY2022: Full year planned activities

Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Audit (plan)
Explosives 400 25
Coal Mines 580 100
Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 7
Petroleum & Gas 1250 74

FY 2022 compliance activity—quarterly planned vs actual activities
(July 2021 to March 2022)

Inspection

Inspectorate Inspection
(plan)
Inspection
(actual)
Unannounced Inspections
(%)
Explosives 300 368A23%B
Coal Mines 435 438 18%
Mineral Mines & Quarries 729 772C 19%
Petroleum & Gas 939 970 21%D

Audit

Inspectorate Audit
(plan)
Audit
(actual)
Complaints investigated
Explosives 21 20 158
Coal Mines 75 74 36
Mineral Mines & Quarries 6 4E 47
Petroleum & Gas 57 53F 143

Notes

A: Increase in reported incidents requiring follow up inspection, and an increase in licensing applications requiring follow up inspection
B: Increase in reported incidents requiring follow up inspection
C: Risk-based adjustment to inspection program
D: On track to achieve target range
E: Impacted by weather events and rescheduled for the final quarter of the year
F: Impacted by staff availability (COVID) and retirements. On track to achieve target

Previous data

  • FY 2021 compliance activity—full year planned activities

    Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Audit (plan)
    Explosives 400 20
    Coal Mines 450 70
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 7
    Petroleum & Gas 1200 75  

    FY 2021 compliance activity—full year planned vs actual activities (1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021)

    Inspection

    Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Inspection (actual) Unannounced inspectionsA
    Explosives 400 502 34%
    Coal Mines 450 530 14%
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 984 22%
    Petroleum & Gas 1200 1209 29%

    Audit

    Inspectorate Audit (plan) Audit (actual) Complaint investigations
    Explosives 20 21 155
    Coal Mines 70 95 64
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 7 8 58
    Petroleum & Gas 75 78 207
    Notes

    A: Our target range for unannounced inspections is 10-20%, based on good practice regulation of high-hazard industry. Variability is driven by changes in regulatory focus, both proactive and responsive.

  • In FY 2020, we met or exceeded our planned inspections and audits with the exception of unannounced inspections in the explosives sector and audits in petroleum and gas. Here, our plans were impacted by the collapse of the pyrotechnics and fireworks industry following the 2019 bushfires and restrictions on personnel movement and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020.

    FY 2020 compliance activity actual vs plan

    Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Inspection (actual) % Inspections unannouncedA Audit (plan) Audit (actual) Complaint investigations
    Explosives 395 511 3B 15 19 114
    Coal Mines 396 445 13 60 96 105
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 974 18 7 7 83
    Petroleum & Gas 1079 1145 19 67 58C 219

    Notes

    A: Our target range for % unannounced inspections is 10–20%, based on good practice regulation of high-hazard industry
    B: Impacted by bushfires (collapse of firework industry) and COVID-19
    C: Impacted by COVID-19 and rescheduled in FY 2021

    FY 2021 compliance activity plan

    Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Audit (plan)
    Explosives 400 20
    Coal Mines 450 70
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 7
    Petroleum & Gas 1200 75

Background to inspections, audits and complaint investigations

Inspections are typically undertaken by a single inspector and are focused on a particular hazard, activity, topic or work area. An inspection is usually completed in a single day but requires planning and follow-up action.

All inspections are planned but may be either announced or unannounced, depending on the inspection’s focus. We aim for 10-20% of inspections to be unannounced, based on sound regulatory practice. The actual number of unannounced inspections is driven by assessing current activities and risks in the resources sector.

Unannounced inspections are valuable for performing spot-checks on operating practices in response to a worker complaint and for verifying critical risk controls (such as equipment guarding) are applied.

Unannounced inspections show industry there is a reasonable chance an inspector will show up without warning – but whether an inspection is announced or unannounced, inspectors are not restricted in what they look at and who they speak with.

Audits are in-depth reviews of safety and health management systems, risk management plans and procedures, and implementation. They can involve reviewing large volumes of information and discussions with site personnel.

The proportion of planned inspections and audits varies from sector to sector. For example, in the mineral mines and quarries sector, where we regulate thousands of smaller operations like quarries and small-scale mines, inspections take up a more significant part of our compliance program. However, for more extensive coal mining operations involving complex safety systems, a greater emphasis on audit is appropriate.

Complaint investigations are undertaken when we receive information about an alleged breach of the law or potential danger to workers. Complaints should generally be raised first at the site with supervisors or site safety and health representatives. If not addressed adequately in the workplace, an inspector will log the complaint and conduct an investigation, which could involve a site inspection. The complaint process is confidential, and the results are provided to the complainant once completed.

Last updated: 20 Apr 2022