High Hazards Unit Meets Solid Energy on Methane Spike
1 December 2011
An inspector from the Department of Labour's High Hazard Unit met with Solid Energy this morning as part of its investigation into the spike in methane levels at the Huntly East mine last month.
“The Unit responded to the event as soon as it was notified and an improvement notice was issued to the mine late last week relating to ventilation management systems,” says the Unit’s General Manager, Brett Murray.
“This morning one of our Unit’s inspectors met with Solid Energy, who are being fully cooperative,” Mr Murray says.
“Solid Energy has taken immediate steps to deal with the changes required by the improvement notice and has its own investigation under way – this is appropriate and reflects the seriousness of the event. The company has also put a health and safety representative on its investigation team.
“The High Hazards Unit will review the outcomes from the internal investigation as part of its response to the incident, and we expect full implementation of the requirements we have put to the mine.
The High Hazards Unit inspector has also met the staff health and safety representatives today.
The Health and Safety in Employment Act places responsibility for mine safety firmly on the mine owners – the role of the Department’s High Hazard Unit is to ensure they have the systems and processes in place to properly manage health and safety issues.
“The Department’s High Hazard Unit, which currently has three inspectors, will be meeting Solid Energy again next week to interview staff, review gas monitoring information and consider their investigation,” Mr Murray says.