Every Queensland mine and quarry worker will receive extra safety training after a spate of deaths across the state.
The training initiative was a major outcome of an emergency summit held on Wednesday between the Labor government, mine and quarry companies, unions and the Queensland Resources Council.
Workers will be re-educated about the risks that contributed to six deaths across the state in the past year and the training will be completed by the end of August.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane backed the government for taking action on what he called an “extraordinarily serious” situation.
“Every worker at every mine will stop and receive additional training, particularly around fatal risks,” he told reporters after the summit.
He said consideration would also be given to any changes that may need to be made to safety inductions that are delivered before workers start their shifts.
Unions have welcomed the move, saying there’s now recognition that the culture around safety must change.
“We have achieved a commitment to tackle reckless behaviour in the workplace, and to put industrial manslaughter laws on the table,” CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Steve Smyth said after the summit.
“We cannot, however, afford to fail. Too many lives have been lost already.”
Two independent reviews have been ordered after a spate of deaths, the latest on the weekend when Jack Gerdes, 27, died after being injured by an excavator at a central Queensland coal mine.
One review will look into coal mine fatalities since 2000, and the other into current health and safety legislation.