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 number of people involved in the production of coal in the Mudgee-Ulan region has doubled in the last seven years and production is two and half times greater at more than 40 million tonnes per annum.
Coal Services has been working to protect coal workers for over 90 years and opened a dedicated office in Mudgee in 2012 to be closer to the growing local industry. Recently, Coal Services moved to new premises at 4/64 Sydney Road.
Coal Services provides a specialised health and safety scheme aimed at preventing injury and work-related illness but also ensuring, should injury occur, that workers are appropriately supported and cared for on their journey to return to work. The Mudgee office provides statutory medical assessments and rehabilitative medical services as well as personal exposure monitoring, on underground and open-cut mine sites, to ensure workers are not excessively exposed to potential environmental hazards.
Newly appointed CS Health Regional Manager, Carmen Robson commented: “It is important we are as accessible as possible to workers who often complete long and varied shifts and for whom family time is critical. Our new and modern premises will help us to do that.”
The Mudgee mining community has a strong track record of preventing injury and illness and Mark Shepherd, Compliance Manager of Coal Services’ specialist occupational hygiene team, part of Coal Mines Technical Services, pointed out: “Occupational health illnesses within the coal industry, including lung disease, are 100% preventable if the right proactive steps are taken.
“With the new facility we will be able to improve the efficiency of our suite of services that assist mines to identify and control any areas of potential risk. This includes our independent airborne dust monitoring as well as additional prevention based services such as monitoring exposures for noise, whole body vibration and welding fumes.”
General Manager for CS Health, Mark O’Neill remarked: “Collaboration across the industry is the key and we are committed to being close to the mine operators and their workers.
“In addition to our new Mudgee based facility Coal Services is also investing in a new Mines Rescue station at Moolarben which will provide access to permanent and timely emergency response capabilities and greater access to our training services.”
Councillor Des Kennedy, Mayor Mid-Western Regional Council, officially opened the new Coal Services facility and added: “Coal Services plays an important role within a significant contributing sector to our community. I am pleased to see their ongoing commitment to the Mudgee-Ulan area through the opening of new premises.”
The new Coal Services office is located at 4/64 Sydney Road, Mudgee.