Whitehaven’s Maules Creek commits to an enforceable undertaking

August 6, 2020 Mining Editor

Whitehaven’s Maules Creek operation has committed to spending over $800,000 in enforceable undertakings in relation to a collision between two trucks on a main haul road of the mine on 21 April 2018.

Following the rejection of an earlier proposal, Maules Creek Coal Pty Ltd (MCCPL) submitted a new WHS enforceable undertaking; which is a legally binding agreement proposed by a company following an alleged breach, which may be considered as an alternative to prosecution.

Resources Regulator Executive Director Anthony Keon said that the Regulator had now accepted the undertaking which requires the company to pay at least $803,613 including the delivery of safety and community projects at a minimum cost of $600,500.

“As part of the of the agreement, MCCPL will undertake a range of safety and community projects that will provide clear and tangible benefits to the workforce, the mining industry and importantly, the broader community as well.”

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“These include the delivery of a community-wide mental health initiative and donations to Narrabri Shire Interagency Group, the SES, and Boggabri Hospital to fund a mental health ‘Community Connect Day’ and much needed emergency and lifesaving equipment. These are important initiatives given the significant challenges faced by regional communities, especially in light of the impact of issues such as drought, bushfires and COVID19.”

“MCCPL will also partner with the University of Queensland to undertake a project to promote safe implementation of automation and new technologies to mine sites. The use these types of technologies is increasing across industry and these shared learnings will help all operators better identify and manage the risks associated with introducing this emerging technology.”

The undertaking also includes the requirement to fund an indigenous mentoring program and reimbursing the Regulator’s investigation and legal costs, and in total is the second highest value mining work health and safety undertaking accepted in NSW.

A copy of the WHS enforceable undertaking and reasons for decisions can be found here.

The Regulator’s investigation report into the incident can be found here.

A Resources Regulator animation of the incident can be found here.

This story was first published by NSW Resources Regulator

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