Mastermyne safety review a joke that exposes dangers in labour hire system

Published: 3 Aug 2022

Safety Helmet
A safety review by a major Queensland mining labour-hire company reinforces the risks involved with mine operators outsourcing employment to contracting companies, the Mining Union said today.
Metarock, the parent company of Mastermyne, which has had two coal mining fatalities in the past year, reported to the ASX that a safety review had found ‘no major flaws’ in its operations.
“It’s a joke that this review has found ‘no major flaws’ when two men have lost their lives in quick succession,” said Mining and Energy Union Queensland President Stephen Smyth.
“Mastermyne executives have got the safety review they paid for. They sought no input from workers and blamed everything on circumstances outside their control.
It is galling to hear the company complain about skills shortages when what we see across the industry is shortages where jobs are insecure and pay, and conditions are sub-standard.
The big mining companies and big labour companies collaborate on an employment model where they make money by cutting job security and conditions, putting workers in a vulnerable position where they lack support and can’t speak up.”
Mr Smyth said Mastermyne was known for fast-tracking inexperienced workers into supervisory roles and that the recommendations about being more accountable for safety on-site were too little too late.
“It seems like Mastermyne has been handing over workers to the mine operators, pocketing the cash and taking no interest in safety processes or conditions on-site. They’ve waited for two tragic fatalities to commit to undertaking thorough risk assessments of jobs they are supplying workers to.
“This reinforces the need for production workers to be directly employed by mine operators wherever possible.”