Mining companies which fail to provide a safe workplace for employees can expect to be hit with heavy fines, following legislation introduced by the State Government this week.
The new laws mean companies can be hit with fines of up to $3.9 million for breaching health and safety regulations.
The legislation also means mines inspectors will be able to hit mine operators with tough new fines of up to $130,550 without taking them to court.
The Government said under changes to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act and the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act, mines inspectors will now have more power to take direct action on health and safety issues.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham told Parliament on Wednesday that the changes reflected the State Government’s strong position that non-compliance with safety and health obligations would not be tolerated.
“This helps to protect those who work, day after day, managing the unique hazards and risks of mining, and the social fabric of families and communities around our mining workers,” Dr Lynham said.
“This Bill is another important step towards ensuring all workers in Queensland get home safely to their families at the end of every working day,” Dr Lynham said.
“Mine sites have transformed significantly in the last 20 years, with more automation and technology, and more specialist contractors from numerous companies on site at any one time to manage these systems.
“Queensland’s mining safety legislation is considered among the best in the world, but to uphold our track record we need to ensure it remains contemporary and reflects the risks of a modern mine site.”