This article examines the role of mining regulation and its enforcement, principally in Western Australia. It identifies a series of substantial deficiencies in current practices, including: the extent to which the Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR) inspectors rely on detailed prescriptive requirements to the detriment of performance and systems-based approaches; the extent to which the DoIR audit process fails to monitor adequately the effectiveness of OHS management systems; the extent to which DoIR inspectors fail to consult adequately with worker representatives; and a failure of enforcement coupled with a risk that the Inspectorate has become too close to the industry it is responsible for regulating. It concludes with some broader reflections concerning best regulatory practice, and raises some practical issues concerning the lack of adequate regulatory resources.
|Journal of Occupational Health and Safety: Australia and New Zealand
|Published - 2005