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Mine workers sharpen their emergency management skills

Emergency response capabilities have been put to the test during a mine collapse large-scale emergency exercise at the Wambo Underground Mine, near Singleton.  

Workers were tasked with responding to an emergency simulation where three mine workers were unaccounted for following the collapse of a section of the underground coal mine. 

The NSW Resources Regulator, within the Department of Regional NSW was asked by the operator Peabody Energy to attend the emergency exercise and provide advice and feedback. 

In conjunction with this exercise, the NSW Resources Regulator’s own Incident Management Team was involved, providing learning opportunities on the Regulators own procedures in response to a major emergency.

The NSW Resources Regulator Chief Inspector Anthony Margetts says this is an important example of collaboration done right. 

“Mine and worker safety is our top priority. This training simulation at Wambo Mine served as a valuable opportunity for mine workers and the Regulator’s Incident Management Team to put their emergency response skills to the test in a collaborative and controlled environment,” Mr Margetts said. 

“Working with the Regulator means operators can review their emergency and incident response systems so everyone knows their obligations and how to best work together in times of crisis.” 

The simulation tested various aspects of emergency response, including rescue operations, communication protocols, and decision-making under pressure. 

Wambo Mine's Underground Mine Manager Peter Jandzio said working closely with the Resources Regulator ensured everyone was on the same page. 

“In the event of a real emergency, it's crucial that we can rely on seamless collaboration and work collectively to enhance our capabilities,” Mr Jandzio said.

“These training simulations are taken very seriously and are uncomfortably realistic, but it ensures everyone is well prepared and knows their role in the event of an emergency.” 

Under WHS legislation, all coal and underground mines must consult with the primary emergency services and local authorities within their area, including liaising with local council through their local Local Emergency Management Committee. All other mines should also follow this best practice as described in the code of practice for emergency planning in mines. NSW Police and Mines Rescue also attended the training day at Wambo.

Images available for download: here

PDF of the  media release is available here (PDF, 136.8 KB)

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