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The mining industry has made significant improvements in health and safety over the last decade, reducing the incidence rates of both fatalities and serious injuries. However, the mining industry still has one of the highest rates of fatalities of any industry.

  • In the 12 years to 2015, the fatality rate in the mining industry decreased by 65% from 12.4 worker fatalities per 100 000 workers in 2003, to 4.4 in 2015. The mining industry still has the third highest fatality rate of any industry with an average of 9 workers dying each year.

Inherent risks associated with mining

Inherent risks associated with working in the mining industry include:

  • body stressing, manual handling and musculoskeletal disorders
  • slips trips and falls
  • being hit by moving objects or machinery
  • working with high risk plant

Between 2001–02 to 2014–15 in Mining:

  • Body stressing represented 39% of workers’ compensation claims. Many of these were due to muscular stress handling objects, carrying or putting down objects.
  • Falls, trips and slips accounted for 25% of claims with the majority of these arising from falls on the same level.
  • Being hit by moving objects accounted for 18% of claims. Over one-quarter of these were due to being hit by mobile plant and transport.

Mining regulation

The Australian Government does not regulate WHS in the mining industry. WHS in the mining industry is regulated by states and territories.

A summary of the WHS regulatory framework for mining is set out below.

Jurisdiction Mining legislative framework
New South Wales WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:

More information about NSW’s WHS regulatory framework for mining is available at the Department of Industry, Resources and Energy website.

Victoria WHS requirements for mining are regulated through:

More information about Victoria’s WHS regulatory framework for mining is available at WorkSafe Victoria.

Queensland WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:

More information about Queensland’s WHS regulatory framework for mining is available at the Queensland Government website.

Note: This legislation is under review. Information about the review is available at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines website.

Western Australia WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:

More information on Western Australia’s WHS regulatory framework for mining is available at the Department of Mines and Petroleum website.

South Australia WHS requirements for mining are regulated through:
  • Chapter 10 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA)

More information is available at SafeWork South Australia.

Tasmania WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:

More information about Tasmania’s WHS regulatory framework for mining is available at WorkSafe Tasmania.

Australian Capital Territory WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:
Northern Territory WHS requirements for mining are regulated through the:

More information is available at the Northern Territory Worksafe website.

Further advice

SWA is not a regulator and cannot advise you about mining compliance. If you need help, please contact your state or territory work health and safety authority.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Friday 11 August 2017 [8181|56526]