Safety & Health


The minerals industry’s number one value and commitment is the safety and health of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work in the industry returns home safe and healthy. The industry has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming free of fatalities.

Safety and Health Vision

An Australian minerals industry free of fatalities, injuries and diseases.

Safety Awareness Definition

The state of mind where we are constantly aware of the possibility of injury and act accordingly at all times.

Safety and Health Beliefs
  • All fatalities, injuries and diseases are preventable.
  • No task is so important that it cannot be done safely.
  • All hazards can be identified and their risks managed.
  • Everyone has a personal responsibility for the safety and health of themselves and others.
  • Safety and health performance can always be improved.
Safety and Health Committee

Six years after the minerals industry's collective agreement to make safety and health its highest priority, new approaches continue to be developed. The Minerals Council of Australia is taking a leadership role through the implementation of a strategy, pursued by the Safety and Health Committee, which is designed to improve the industry's safety and health performance.

An ambitious work program developed by the committee each year is based on a well-established program involving awards and communicating the experience and performance of the industry. The committee continues to be committed to the elimination of all fatalities, injuries and diseases.

The Committee pursues its work through four working groups which represent the key drivers used by the Committee to pursue its goals:

  • Leadership Working Group
  • Recognition Working Group
  • Health Working Group
  • Legislation Working Group
  • Working Arrangements Working Group
  • MICI Management Working Group
Operator Safety and Health Management

It is the policy of the Minerals Council of Australia that:

  • Operators have the responsibility to protect the safety and health of every person on site including contractors and their employees.
  • The relationship between the operator and contractor will include the agreement and implementation of a plan to effectively identify and manage safety and health issues.
  • Focus on goal of zero harm – The minerals industry has recorded zero fatalities so far in 2012-13. Two fatalities were recorded in 2011-12.
  • Minerals exports climbed in 2011-12 – The value of minerals exports (excluding oil and gas) increased more than 7 per cent to $163 billion in 2011-12, equivalent to 51 per cent of Australia’s total goods and services exports.
  • Mining investment will peak soon - There were 67 minerals mining and infrastructure projects at a committed stage with total value of approximately $73 billion in October 2012. As a share of GDP, total mining investment is expected to peak in 2013-14.

The minerals industry’s number one value and commitment is the safety and health of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work in the industry returns home safely. Having set itself this ambitious goal, the minerals industry is committed to becoming free of fatalities, injuries and diseases.

The minerals industry recorded two fatalities in 2011-12, each one a tragic reminder that more needs to be done to secure the industry’s goal of zero harm. Encouragingly, the industry has recorded zero fatalities so far in 2012-13.

MCA member companies maintain that:

  • all fatalities, injuries and diseases are preventable;
  • no task is so important that it cannot be done safely;
  • all hazards can be identified and their risks managed; and
  • everyone has a personal responsibility for the safety and health of themselves and their work mates.

The industry recognises that even greater effort is needed based on leadership, systems, people, culture and behaviour working in unison – backed by robust regulation. It is firmly committed to the principle that every individual, regardless of where they work and what tasks they undertake, should have the same standard of high protection. Just as the industry has integrated safety and health issues across varied operations, it seeks an integrated approach from governments to support a growing, diverse and increasingly mobile labour-force.

The MCA continues to advocate uniform national occupational health and safety legislation, supported by industry-specific regulation, to bring greater certainty, efficiency and clarity to industry participants. It is also critical that compliance challenges do not detract from the practical task of identifying, managing and minimising risk and the continuous improvement of safety and health outcomes.

Chart 1: Fatalities in the minerals sector Source: MCA Safety Performance Reports

Reports and submissions on health and safety issues

09 September 2015 Launch of Mining Industry Blueprint on Mental Health

15 July 2015 Draft Code for Radiation Protection in Planned Exposure Situations

24 June 2015 Submission on Inquiry into Crystal Methamphetamine

13 February 2015 Submission to the WA Inquiry into Mental Health Impacts of FIFO Work Arrangements