Serious mining accident figures shelved

FIGURES showing a month-by-month breakdown of serious incidents on Queensland mine sites have been shelved for months as the government keeps the information within the industry.

These "serious accident and high potential incident reports" were published for each month since the start of 2010, chronicling how many injuries or near misses were caused on sites, whether by fire, explosions, vehicle, human error or other factors.

The Department of Mines website stated the summaries were released "in good faith to help improve safety and health in our industries".

Since August, monthly summaries have stopped being published with the Department of Mines suggesting investigators - who would compile these reports - had priorities ahead of their publication.

A spokesman for the department said the 88 government investigators in the mines, explosives, gas and petroleum areas prepared reports of every incident, which were then circulated throughout the industry.

These were not widely available to the public.

Bulletins warning of specific safety hazards are still regularly published online for industry and public consumption.

Bi-annual and publicly available safety reports would still be put online, but the department would make no comment on if or why these month-to-month statistics were discontinued.

It also did not comment on whether the level of staffing was an issue.

"Industry relies on the investigation reports and safety alerts, bulletins they receive which are about specific incidents or hazards in the industry, not monthly (statistic) summaries," he said.

The August report - the last one published publicly - covered 215 serious incidents or near-misses including a break-down of the biggest threats.

For that month, it included 34 fire-related incidents, 64 incidents to do with vehicles colliding or losing control and 15 related to explosions.