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Samantha Betzien Partner, MinterEllison Rhian O’Sullivan Special Counsel, MinterEllison In 2018 there were a number of amendments to the resources safety legislation in Queensland including in relation to contractor management and the introduction of a positive obligation on officers to exercise due diligence. This positive obligation is a significant change and it is important that organisations in the resources sector conduct a review of their safety governance systems to ensure that their Board and Executives are able to discharge their personal obligations. Other potential reforms to the Resources Safety Acts have been debated that would essentially bring them into line with the recently amended WHS Act, including in relation to the introduction of an industrial manslaughter offence. There has also been a number of serious safety incidents in the Queensland mining sector which has meant that the Mines Inspectorate is on high alert. This paper will discuss the amendments, proposed reforms and regulatory environment in the current climate, including providing insights into current industry issues.
Williams – Technical Development in Explosion-Protected Polymer-Based HV Couplers and the Potential Safety Benefits to the Mine Industry
Stephen Williams Engineering Manager, Connec High Voltage Coupler Systems High voltage (HV) electricity is one of the primary sources of energy within underground coal mines, the effective control of which is fundamental to maintaining a safe working environment. Furthermore, the equipment typically used in HV transmission and distribution is heavy, requiring manual handling to facilitate installation in what can be deemed a confined and harsh working environment. HV cable coupler and connection systems are an integral and necessary part of mining electrical systems. Underground mining especially has a frequent need to connect and disconnect cables as a result of both the mining process and cable/connector inspection, maintenance and testing regimes. However, current coupler designs which have been in use for several decades consist primarily of a heavy metallic body that inherently limits methods for “testing for dead” prior to touching the coupler. This presentation describes at a relatively high level the various associated safety benefits that have been incorporated into developing these polymer coupler systems, including the ability to reliably “test for dead” prior to disconnecting a coupler and the substantial weight reductions that allow for improved manual-handling. Having been supported by ACARP from the outset, Connec has developed the world’s first polymer-based Restrained (≤3.3 kV) and Bolted (≤11 kV) HV coupler systems that are both ANZEx and IECEx certified for use in underground coal mining environments.
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