The mining industry in PNG has achieved improved its safety efforts in the 2nd quarter of 2017, according to the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).

Statistics provided by the MRA show there was a decrease in the fatality frequency rate (FFR) by 100 %, while man-hours increased by 19% in this quarter when compared with the same reporting period in 2016. Similarly, serious injury frequency rates significantly decreased by 60%, the total injury frequency rate (TIFR) has also shown a considerable decrease of 29% compared to quarter 2 of 2016.

The MRA said that while there has been an overall improvement in key safety indicators, the recurrence of serious incidents is a grim reminder that there are more opportunities available to improve and sustain these positive outcomes.

According to MRA managing director Philip Samar the mining industry directly employed 17,198 people an increase of 12% when compared with the same period last year. Females make up 11% of the total number of persons employed on mine sites.

“We commend the industry for its efforts in continuing to drive safety as a priority focus for the sector. The industry’s efforts have been equally complemented by the Mineral Resource Authority’s dedicated mines inspectorate officers whose focus on increased compliance is making a difference to ensure worker’s health and safety is improved at every opportunity”

Hands and fingers continue to be the main affected body parts subjected to injury and the MRA is appealing to the industry to reduce such incidences of injury. The MRA will be consulting all operating mines on embarking on programs to promote safe hands and fingers.

As part of its continued efforts in ensuring compliance by the mining industry with the health and safety regulation in PNG, the MRA has up skilled the capabilities of its Inspectors with the recent Lead Auditor training in OHS to international standard; ISO 18001.

Audits are a proactive effort to identify deficiencies in the health and safety management systems within our mines, enabling gaps in the system to be remedied.

The management of MRA has allocated the necessary resources to ensure safety standards can be improved and maintained through similar training programs.

It is also anticipated that the audits will be conducted in a more efficient and effective manner, thus leading to the better management of risks and safety exposures.