Miners Memorial Day is a reminder of mining dangers

WITH two deaths, 947 injuries and more than 2400 serious incidents or near misses in the past 12 months on Queensland mine sites, the top brass for safety is offering a stern warning - stay vigilant.

The figures from the Department of Mines were released on Miners Memorial Day, commemorated at a sombre event in Townsville on Thursday.

The event is held on the anniversary of the Mount Mulligan mining explosion in 1921 which took 75 lives.

Queensland Commissioner for Mine Safety Stewart Bell said the state's resources industry might be the safest in the world, but even with the threat of heavy machinery, explosives and electricity, complacency was still the greatest danger.

There were two deaths on metal-mining sites in the 2012-13 financial year, one more than the year before when Bundaberg man Sean Scovell was killed at a Moranbah quarry.

The latest report shows the number of reported injuries fell from 1182 to 947 this year.

On average, these were also less severe.

"One of the key messages from our work with industry, unions and mine workers is the need to remain vigilant about safety despite further improvements in the industry's performance over the past 12 months," Mr Bell said.

The increase of "high potential incidents" - from 2390 to 2406 - also meant workers were being more open about reporting near-misses and injuries.

These cases refer to moments when workers were potentially in great danger, but an injury may not have occurred.

In its quest for safety, the mines department's inspectors did 1588 examinations at sites, 33 audits and launched 173 investigations in the past 12 months.

It also sent 265 orders and 1089 "substandard condition or practice" warnings to mines which were not up to scratch.

The department is currently reviewing statewide mine safety legislation.



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