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Mining Industry Aims To Improve Safety Record

The minerals and mining industry is working hard to reduce time lost to injuries and provide a safer workplace for its employees.

"Our aim is to manage our risks towards the goal of an accident free workplace," executive director of the New Zealand Minerals Industry Association, Doug Gordon, says.

The Association together with industry is running a series of health and safety workshops around the country in a bid to educate those involved in the mining and quarrying industry about the latest developments, best practice work safe policies, and the industry's new codes of safety practice. Workshops are being held in Christchurch, Greymouth, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei.

The industry has drafted codes of practice for both its surface and underground sectors. The codes incorporate best practice from minerals and mining industries around the world. This effort is funded by the industry, the Extractive Industry Training Organisation (EXITO) and the OSH WorkSafe programme.

"The government's previous mining regulations set down prescriptive safety practices for industry. These have been lifted and there has been little in place since," Mr Gordon said.

"Industry is filling that vacuum with proactive policies and codes of its own.

"The safety record of Association-member companies is improving and our member companies are paying more attention to preventive care.

"They are investing more heavily in identifying and managing the risks, and continuing to provide increasingly advanced staff training through EXITO."

"Initiatives like these new policies and codes and the associated workshops will accelerate the positive trend."

For further information contact Doug Gordon tel. (04) 499-9871


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