Efforts to make Queensland mines safer and stop workers from dying on the job have dropped off.
That is the conclusion being drawn by the state’s commissioner for mine safety.
“The reality is that safety and health outcomes in the industry have plateaued and, in some measures, have started to show signs of reversing momentum,” Commissioner Kate du Preez wrote in her annual report.
Ms du Preez’s report, tabled in parliament on Wednesday, warned risks associated with the mining sector had become the standard.
Her fear the industry has taken a backwards step comes as the rate of serious incidents rising each year for the past five years.
“A normalisation of risk seems to be creeping into the industry,” she wrote.
“It is vital that the concept of working towards ‘zero harm’ does not just become rhetoric – an unachievable goal – and that the industry maintains an effective safety culture.”
Five people died while working on mines and quarries across the state in the 2018-19 financial year.
A sixth person died on July 7, making it one of the worst 12-month periods in recent history.
Ms du Preez’s report acknowledged efforts taken by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham, including safety sessions attended by more than 50,000 workers in the industry.