Aug 11, 2016

New lessons from an old hazard

New lessons from an old hazard

The physician who led a key inquiry into the resurgence of black lung disease among Queensland coal miners will join the line-up of speakers at a peak health and safety forum kicking off on Sunday.

More than 550 delegates are expected to join the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference at Jupiters Gold Coast for three days of keynote speakers, industry presentations and trade displays.

Conference chair Greg Dalliston said the event’s theme, A past forgotten is a future repeated, would deliver a hard-hitting and thought-provoking program focused on learning from past mistakes.

“Two of the biggest topics are the serious issues of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) and fatality risks,’ Mr Dalliston said.

Professor Malcolm Sim.

“Repeating the same mistakes and not learning from the past has the potential to put our workforce at risk, and is also a waste of time and resources.

“The Conference is a vital opportunity for industry leaders to share knowledge, best practices and learn about emerging technology that ensures our workers make it home safely at the end of each and every shift.”

The conference will open with Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, who late last year initiated a formal inquiry into CWP – also known as black lung disease – after new cases of the disease were confirmed.

That inquiry was led by one of the conference’s keynote speakers and occupational physician, Professor Malcolm Sim, whose presentation is entitled New Lessons from an Old Hazard – Black Lung in Coal Miners.

The conference program also includes industry Innovation and Health Awards, to be announced on Tuesday evening.



  • 8.45am:Susan Johnston, mine safety consultant, barrister and former Queensland Resources Council chief executive, addressing whether safety can be improved in challenging times.
  • 9.30am:Professor Michael Quinlan, OHS expert Prof Michael Quinlan, of the School of Management at the University of NSW, who will explore the pattern causes of death and disaster in the mining industry.
  • 1.15pm: Andrew Clough, vice president, safety health and environment for Peabody Energy Australian will discuss History, Geography and Zero Harm.
  • 2pm: Professor Malcolm Sim, director of the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health will present New Lessons from an Old Hazard – Black Lung in Coal Miners.


  • 8.45am: Chris Stephens, Heavy Vehicle Safety Specialist for VicRoads will explain his highly successful Truck Rollover Prevention Program.
  • 9.30am: Dr Sean Brady, forensic structural engineer and managing director of Bray Heywood Pty Ltd will present Wedded to Our Tools – Why Expertise Can Hold Us Back.

The 2016 Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference is an initiative of the Queensland Resources Council, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Simtars, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, and the Australian Workers’ Union.