The Asia-Pacific’s largest international mining exhibition AIMEX, which is booked in at the Sydney Showground from August 20-23, has announced the three-day event will focus on mine safety.

Organizers say the New South Wales government’s latest mine safety performance report shows underground coal operations account for 70% of the state’s mining incidents, making mine safety a hot topic for delegates to this year’s event.

One day of the program has been set aside as Mine Safety Day, where a range of speakers on mine safety issues, challenges and solutions will make presentations.

Reed Mining Events director Paul Baker says the government report highlighted some of the major achievements of the state’s mining industry in improving safety, but also included areas where it could make major improvements.

“It is very pleasing to see that in 2011-12 all sectors were fatality free, with the five year average fatal injury frequency rate to June 2012 decreasing 25% for coal and falling to zero for metalliferous and extractive mining,” he says.

“Far more stringent reporting requirements introduced some years ago mean that a much higher level of incidents is being reported, but the overall levels of injuries and fatalities in the state’s mining sector are trending down – which is a reflection of the industry’s professionalism and strong commitment to safety.”

Paul Baker says allocating one day of the AIMEX program to mine safety will emphasize the importance of safety in the industry as well as the consequences of safety lapses. The keynote address of the day will be made by Brant Webb, who survived the Beaconsfield Mine tragedy in 2006. He will speak about his experiences during and since the rescue operation.

Panel discussions will be scheduled into the program, broaching the topics of mine safety issues and the impacts on miners and their families of the long hours, difficult work and time away from home.

A number of specialist safety product suppliers will also exhibit their services and products as part of the AIMEX 2013. APS Lighting and Safety, Draeger, Mine Site Technology, Ansell, MSA Australia, Strata Products Australia and Skylotec are among the exhibitors delegates can expect to visit.

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