The Standing Dust Committee has released the 2017 NSW Coal Airborne Dust Results Summary. The annual bulletin provides an overview of Coal Services’ statutory dust sampling results and observations taken from underground and surface operations.
Approximately 250 students from high schools across the Illawarra took part in the University of Wollongong’s STEM Festival that took place from Monday, 19 February 2018. The week-long event was designed to inspire students, specifically females, to pursue further education and careers based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme came into effect on 22 February 2018 and applies to all agencies and organisations with existing personal information security obligations under the Australian Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).
The Coal Services’ Health & Safety Trust project aims to identify areas and occupations in surface mining that are at high risk of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) exposure and use the findings to develop an evidence-based health surveillance guideline for the Australian coal industry.
According to NSW Health statistics, approximately 20 per cent of the population will be affected by influenza this year. It is easy to protect yourself (and others) from becoming infected with the flu virus and also prevent the spread of coughs and colds through simple actions.
"Our goal is to ensure that the health surveillance program in NSW continues to deliver the best possible outcomes for coal workers," explained Mark O’Neill, CS Health General Manager. "The new Order 43 builds on components of Order 41 and formalises existing processes that have been implemented over time."
The aim of the Mines Rescue cadet program is to employ young, keen and dedicated personnel to learn the skills and competencies of a Mines Rescue Training Officer with the objective of gaining industry employment on completion of their two year cadetship.
At 31 December 2017, there were 41 coal mining operations in NSW; 20 underground mines (16 longwall operations) and 21 open cut mines. Raw coal production for the NSW coal industry fell by 1.8 per cent or 4.6 million tonnes to 245.7 million tonnes for the 12 months ending 31 December 2017. Overall raw coal production fell across all coalfields except Gunnedah and the Hunter.
More than 2200 people are directly employed in the production of coal in the Mudgee region and many more are associated with the industry. The impact of the coal industry is wide-reaching and ensuring a healthy workforce is not only important to these individuals and their employers but to the community at large.
The re-identification of coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) in the coal mining industry prompted CS Health to undertake a review of the NSW health surveillance scheme for coal workers (Order 41) to ensure that it had none of the systemic issues identified in the Queensland system that led to a failure to identify cases of CWP in workers.
Peabody Energy’s Wambo Mine have taken out the highly contested 55th Australian Underground Mines Rescue competition in sensational form in Narrabri. Wambo were closely followed by Queensland’s Moranbah North and Broadmeadow teams who claimed second and third place respectively.
Nine teams from mines across the Western region competed at the 2017 Coal Services Western Region First Aid competition on Friday, 1 December. The event took place at the new Moolarben Mines Rescue Station that was officially opened as part of the event.
Since 1954 when the Standing Dust Committee was established, our industry has focussed on preventing coal workers pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. Our data shows that the average exposure that sat well below the occupational exposure level (OEL) for 20 years and demonstrates that today, the NSW coal industry is doing well in managing respirable and inhalable coal dust exposure risk.
Mine operators and industry suppliers recently celebrated the achievements of those who work in, and support, the NSW mining industry. The annual event, held in April at Parliament House in Sydney, included the NSW Minerals Council 2017 Industry and Suppliers Awards.
Early this year, an isolated case of mixed dust (coal and crystalline silica) pneumoconiosis was confirmed in NSW. The affected worker had worked at a number of open-cut mines throughout NSW during their 30-year career before leaving the industry in 2014.
While claims for psychological injury account for just a small number of all claims received by Coal Mines Insurance (CMI), industry data shows that the average cost of workers compensation claims for mental illness are more than twice that for other injury claims.