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The NSW coal industry operates under a specific regulatory framework.


Coal Services was created upon the dissolution of the Joint Coal Board and introduction of the NSW Government’s Coal Industry Act 2001.

Under the Act, Coal Services exercises a number of key statutory functions. These include the provision of critical services to the NSW coal mining industry across the areas of occupational health and rehabilitation, workers compensation, collection of statistics, and mines rescue emergency services and training.

As with all NSW workplaces, the state’s coal mining industry workplaces are governed by the NSW Government’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011. However, WHS requirements for mining in NSW are also regulated through the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and the Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014.

Statutory obligations

Coal Services exercises its functions, and derives its source of power to do so, from Section 10(1) of the Coal Industry Act 2001. Our general functions include but are not limited to:

  • establishing, administering, or providing workers compensation insurance
  • providing occupational health and rehabilitation services for workers engaged in the coal industry, including providing preventative medical services, monitoring workers’ health and investigating related health matters
  • collecting, collating and disseminating accident and other statistics relating to the health and safety of workers engaged in the coal industry
  • monitoring, promoting and specifying adequate training standards relating to health and safety for workers engaged in the coal industry
  • the provision of mines rescue emergency services and brigadesmen training to the NSW coal industry.

Coal Services is also responsible for administering Orders that are designed to help protect the health and safety of the workforce.

Order 34

NSW coal mine operators are required to have mine site training schemes in place to maintain a properly trained workforce.

Order 40

NSW coal mines are required to prepare plans to limit dust creation and personnel exposure for each operating longwall.

Order 42

Allows Coal Services to enter coal mine operations for the purposes of monitoring airborne dust, collecting dust samples and other functions and activities necessary to monitor airborne dust.

Order 43

Coal workers in NSW are required to undergo preplacement medical assessments and periodic health surveillance.