What accidents and incidents need to be reported for a mining operation?

Legislative requirements

Under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 and Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995, for a mining operation (including exploration operations), the following must be reported to the department:

  • accidents involving injury to persons
  • occurrences (commonly referred to as notifiable incidents for reporting purposes).

Accident and incident reporting - guideline - 1656 Kb

Accident and incident reporting - guideline: This guideline will assist employers and employees at Western Australian mining operations to understand their reporting duties for accidents involving injury to persons and occurrences (notifiable incidents).

What is a reportable accident?

Under section 76 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, an accident on a mining operation must be reported if it causes an injury that prevents a person from returning to his or her duties as they were being performed at the time of the accident.

This covers situations where the person would be unable to return to those duties the following day, regardless of whether or not the person is rostered to work that day.

To whom and where does this apply?

This applies to:

  • company employees
  • self-employed persons
  • contractors
  • who, through their injury, have:
  • lost time from work
  • been assigned to alternate or light duties
  • been put on restricted hours.

Injury types

A serious injury is defined as an injury that:

  • results in the injured person being disabled from following his or her ordinary occupation for a period of two weeks or more, or
  • involves unconsciousness arising from inhalation of fumes or poisonous gases, or asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen or displacement of oxygen by an inert gas, or
  • results from an accident, including fuming, arising from the use of explosives or blasting agents.

If a fatality has resulted from an injury, it is classed as a serious injury.

A minor injury is a reportable injury that is not classified as serious.

What is a reportable incident?

Occurrences (also referred to as notifiable incidents for reporting purposes) are unplanned incidents that do not necessarily result in injury to a person or damage to property.

Specified events to be reported

The following events are listed under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 as occurrences that are required to be reported:

  • extensive subsidence, settlement or fall of ground or any major collapse of any part of the operations of a mine, or any earth movement caused by a seismic event [s. 78(3)(a)]
  • outbreak of fire above or below ground in any mine [s. 78(3)(b)]
  • breakage of a rope, cable, chain or other gear by which persons are raised or lowered [s. 78(3)(c)]
  • inrush of water from old underground operations or other source [s. 78(3)(d)]
  • accidental ignition of dust below ground; The discovery of the presence of potentially harmful or asphyxiant gas, or an outburst of such gas in any part of a mine [s. 78(3)(e)]
  • accidental ignition or detonation of explosives, or any delayed or fast ignition of explosives [s. 78(3)(f)]
  • explosion or bursting of compressed air receivers, boilers, or pressure vessels [s. 78(3)(g)]
  • every electric shock or burn to a person and every dangerous occurrence involving electricity [s. 78(3)(h)]
  • incidence of a person being affected by poisoning or exposure to toxic gas or fumes [s. 78(3)(i)]
  • loss of control of heavy earth-moving equipment, including failure of braking or steering [s. 78(3)(j)].

Refer to s. 78(3) of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994

What else is reported as a notifiable incident?

In addition to the occurrences listed above, other reportable incidents and accidents under the mines safety legislation include:

  • an injury that is serious or appears to be serious, including a fatality [s. 76 (2)(a)]
  • a potentially serious occurrence or incident (s. 79)
  • incidents affecting registered plant (r. 6.36).

Refer to ss. 76(2) and 79 of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994

How are accidents and incidents reported and recorded?

What is involved for reporting an accident or incident for a mining operation link below outlines the requirements for reporting accidents and incidents to the department.

There is also requirement to record accidents and incidents in the accident log book and mine record book.

Find out what information needs to be recorded at a mining operation at What are mine record books?

Accident log book

The mine manager must keep an accident log book and ensure that any accident at the mining operation is recorded in the accident log book without delay.

The log book must be available for inspection at all reasonable times. Persons authorised by the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 194 to inspect the accident log book are:

  • an inspector
  • a safety and health representative for the mine
  • a representative of a trade union that has members employed at the mine
  • anyone else authorised by the State Mining Engineer.

Mine record book

The mine manager must record the particulars of an occurrence, without delay, in the mine record book.