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Opal mining video launched to improve safety for people working in shafts and at height

The NSW Resources Regulator has published a video to increase awareness within the opal mining community of the risks of working at height and working in shafts.

Resources Regulator Acting Executive Director Garvin Burns said falls from height are a significant safety risk that can lead to serious injury or death.

“We are committed to working closely with the opal industry to improve safety outcomes,” Mr Burns said.

“The falls from height safety awareness video was produced in partnership with the Lightning Ridge mining community and highlights the impact that safety incidents can have on family, friends and colleagues.

“Within the past four years in the Lightning Ridge Mineral Claims District, there have been four mine operators fall from access ladders resulting in significant injuries and two fatalities,” Mr Burns said.

The video includes an interview with a miner who was badly injured in a fall in an opal shaft, and an interview with the partner of a miner who was fatally injured at Grawin in 2020.

“The video encourages opal miners to understand the importance of safety when accessing their mine using ladders, including the use of a fall arrest, such as a harness, to improve their safety,” Mr Burns said.

“Many miners work alone without fully appreciating the risks of falls when working at height.

“We encourage the industry to visit the Regulator’s website to access information, improve compliance and increase safe work practices,” Mr Burns said.

The Regulator has implemented a compliance program that provides assistance and education to over 3,000 claim holders in Lightning Ridge and the surrounding areas.

The video can be viewed on the Regulator’s YouTube channel.

Download a PDF version of the media release (PDF, 110.91 KB)

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