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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.

FY2023: Full year planned activities (July 2022 to June 2023)

Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Audit (plan)
Explosives 350 20
Coal Mines 470 100
Mineral Mines &  Quarries 970 7
Petroleum & Gas 1250 70

FY 2023 compliance activity—quarterly planned vs actual activities
(July 2022 to Sept 2022)

Inspectorate Inspection (plan) Inspection (actual) Unannounced Inspections (%)
Explosives 88 88 15%
Coal Mines 118 166 14%
Mineral Mines & Quarries 243 236 19%
Petroleum & Gas 313 470 12%

Audit

Inspectorate Audit
(plan)
Audit
(actual)
Complaints investigated
Explosives 6 8 38
Coal Mines 25 50 15
Mineral Mines & Quarries 2 2 14
Petroleum & Gas 19 13 49

Previous data

  • 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—full year planned vs actual activities (July 2021 to June 2022)

    Inspection

    Inspectorate Inspection
    (plan)
    Inspection
    (actual)
    Unannounced Inspections
    (%)
    Explosives 400 441A 21%B
    Coal Mines 580 590C 15%
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 970 1087D 18%
    Petroleum & Gas 1250 1344 17%

    Audit

    Inspectorate Audit
    (plan)
    Audit
    (actual)
    Complaints investigated
    Explosives 25 26 206
    Coal Mines 100 99E 45
    Mineral Mines & Quarries 7 10 57
    Petroleum & Gas 74 72F 189

    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: Additional inspections resulted from matters requiring a prompt and timely response from the regulator specific to certain mines
    D: Risk-based adjustment to inspection program
    E: Additional inspections were undertaken to offset the audit not reaching target for the year
    F: Due to GWD/GDAA proactive audits that was cancelled and rescheduled to FY 22/23 Compliance Assurance Program

  • 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: 18 Oct 2022