Surge in coal industry accidents spurs online safety initiative

A surge in accidents and injuries in Queensland's coal sector last year has spurred the introduction of a state-wide mining safety initiative.

Australian Mining reports that Stewert Bell, Queensland commissioner for mine safety, has said that the key Australian mining state witnessed a "disturbing rise in dangerous behavior in underground coal mines" last year.

The industry has responded to this development by launching a new program to reverse the tide of rising mining-related injuries.

The RISKGATE program is the biggest health and safety initative ever funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), and consists of an online information database which pools knowledge between mining companies with respect to risk and safety during operations.

Group chair of RISKGATE's health and safety task group John Hempsentall says the new initiative should fill a gaping hole in industry safety measures:

The reason why RISKGATE was developed was that there was no coal industry body of knowledge available to assist individual mine sites in their aim of achieving best practice. RISKGATE is filling that knowledge void.

A trial version of the website was officially launched in December, following two years of work to create what its founders say is the most comprehensive database of its type in the country.