Safety shake-up calls for courage

Glencore leaders are calling on the courage and vigilance of every worker to make a significant shift in safety culture within the Queensland mining industry.

Six mine and quarry workers have lost their lives in Queensland since July last year.

Six families have not had their loved one return home at the end of the shift, and everyone agrees it's completely unacceptable and avoidable.

As part of the response, more than 3,200 Glencore workers at our north west Queensland operations have taken part in statewide Safety Reset briefings. The Safety Reset campaign came about after high-level talks between the State Government, the mining industry and unions.

The Glencore leadership team have carried out face to face sessions delivering a consistent industry message on the importance of safety in the workplace, with the State Government officially recognising George Fisher Mine as the first in the state to spring into action with the briefings.

One of the key messages to workers is to have the courage to stop a job, if it feels unsafe.

Denis Hamel, Executive General Manager Zinc Assets Australia says when reflecting on your job, ask yourself, do I understand my tasks? Am I committed to my controls? Am I switched on? Always stop, look, assess and manage – am I right to start?

"Fatalities are preventable, we must aim for zero harm across our business and make it our highest priority," says Denis.

Matt O'Neill, Chief Operating Officer Copper Assets North Queensland says it's important that every worker returns home at the end of each shift for their family and friends.

"We need to change the way we're operating. The six deaths are not acceptable. We need to keep at the forefront of our minds what you're staying safe for throughout the course of the day," Matt says.

"Whenever you go about your daily tasks, have a look around and be aware of the hazards in that area that can kill you – it's as simple as that."

Workers are urged to report all incidents, especially near hits, as a duty of care to ensure every opportunity to identify actions to prevent incident recurrence are taken.

Improvements and recommendations raised by workers during the Safety Reset briefings are being reviewed and the leadership team is committed to keeping the workforce updated.