RSHQ’s response to the Transport and Resource Committee’s inquiry into coal mining industry safety
RSHQ made a number of submissions during the Transport and Resource Committee’s inquiry into coal mining industry safety and welcomes the release of its report.
One of the recommendations made by the Committee is for the independent regulator to increase the proportion of unannounced inspections it undertakes at Queensland coal mines to 25% of all inspections by the 2023/24 financial year. Inspections and audits are fundamental to our compliance program and help drive the resources sector towards our vision of Zero Serious Harm. These processes enable us to provide safety advice to sites and, if risk is not being managed effectively, issue directives requiring action to be taken or suspending operations until work can be performed safely. Our inspection and audit program provides valuable information that we share with stakeholders, including through our annual reports and industry safety forums and performance reports.
RSHQ currently aims for 10-20% of our inspections to be unannounced, based on expert advice and sound regulatory practice. However, the actual ratio between announced and unannounced inspections is driven by the industry’s demonstrated ability to manage risk arising from operations. While each of RSHQ’s inspectorates have consistently achieved the current target range for inspections – both announced and unannounced, we acknowledge the Committee’s recommendation and will undertake objective analysis to critically assess whether the current rate of unannounced inspections should be retained or changed in line with the recommendation. Ultimately, this is a question of regulatory effectiveness.
We will carefully consider the Committee’s report and recommendations and report back on any activities responding to the recommendations through our annual report.
RSHQ continues to work with industry and stakeholders to achieve its vision of zero serious harm in the resources sector.
Last updated: 17 Feb 2023