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Harbour lights shining example of workplace safety



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S.

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR FRED CHANEY

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY A N D COMMERCE

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

1/89

EMBARGOED: NOT FOR USE BEFORE 2 PM (WST) SATURDAY 14 JANUARY 1989

HARBOUR LIGHTS SHINING EXAMPLE OF WORKPLACE SAFETY

"A reduction in the rate and seriousness of on-the-job accidents remains one of the biggest challenges facing Australian industry", the Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, Senator Fred Chaney, said today.

Senator Chaney was speaking at the presentation by him of two awards for outstanding achievement in workplace safety to Harbour Lights Mining Ltd as its gold mining operation near Leonora.

"Harbour Lights is to be congratulated on repeating its 1986 effort in being awarded five star safety ratings by the National Safety Council of Australia and International Loss Control (Australia)", he said.

"Combined with the fact that the Harbour Lights mine has just clocked up 365 days without an accident, this represents a magnificent achievement by management and the workforce.

"This success story is a welcome change from the rather bleak picture presented by official statistics on industrial accidents.

"In Western Australia alone last financial year there were almost 31,000 industrial accidents resulting in the loss of more than 136,000 working weeks and the payment of almost $116 million in compensation.

"More than 2,700 of these accidents occurred in the mining industry for a loss of 12,884 working weeks.

"And these official statistics do not take account of the overall cost to industry in terms of production time lost nor the human toll in terms of suffering experienced by individuals and their families.

"Industry estimates that the total monetary cost in Western Australia during 1987-88— allowing for lost productivity, lost wages, compensation, retraining and replacement— was around $140 million.

"But it's not all bad news. -

"There has been a gradual reduction in the impact of industrial accidents in Western Australia over recent years. For instance, in 1985-86, weeks lost in mining totalled 14,740 and the cost of compensation claims exceeded $14 million.

"With increased employer-employee cooperation— which of course is central to the Liberal-National Party industry relations policy— and examples like Harbour Lights, there are grounds for reasonable optimism about the future."

LEONORA 14 January 1989 Contact: Keith Kessell (09) 325 8179 (W) 385 9430 (H)