Opinion: Safety is always the highest priority

Originally published in Coalface Magazine 

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee

In our industry safety is always the highest priority.  Our goal is to achieve zero harm at every NSW mine site, through high level training and worlds best work practices.

Training and safe work practices are clearly critical to our efforts to make our mines safe.  

Technology and innovation also play an important part in protecting our people and managing risk to improve the health and safety of our people.

Every year, mining industry representatives from across the state gather for over three days at the NSW Minerals Council’s Health and Safety Conference to share new ideas and innovations that help improve safe work practices.  The event has become one of the biggest on the NSW mining industry calendar with nearly 500 delegates gathering in the Hunter last year, emphasising the strong industry focus on safety.

At the Conference we also recognise those who have made outstanding contributions through our annual Innovation Awards.

The winner of last year’s People’s Choice Award, voted on by delegates themselves, was Centennial Coal’s ‘Sky Hook’, developed by workers at the Myuna Colliery near Lake Macquarie.  This innovative device eliminates the manual overhead handling of underground cables, minimising the chance of injury.

It is this type of practical innovation that makes the NSW and especially the Hunter mining industry one of the safest and most advanced in the world.

Mining is a great industry of innovators and problem solvers. We have a long and proud history of overcoming big scientific and engineering challenges. It is in this spirit that our industry will continue to develop new technology to improve the safety of our mine sites for our people - the most precious resource to come out of our mines.