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30 Oct 2018

Hazelwood Mine Fire Workforce in Place for Summer

Earth Resources Regulation has issued an updated Notice to ensure a competent workforce is in place to prevent and control potential fires in the Hazelwood Coal Mine, following extensive assessment and consultation with the CFA, Worksafe and Hazelwood Power Corporation Ltd.

The updated Notice details the minimum workforce that will need to be in place under different fire danger categories. 

A minimum of 30 and up to 34 staff need to be on duty under severe to extreme fire danger conditions and up to 24 staff under very high conditions.

Fire Danger rating Baseline Moderate High Very High Severe Extreme Code Red
Minimum staffing levels* 6 to 8 8 to 12 12 to 24 30 to 34
*Staff numbers on site at any time will depend on the actual and forecast conditions.

Several additional measures have been built-in to underpin the workforce arrangements, including:
  • adopting the CFA’s fire risk rating scheme, with an additional level of safeguards, such as extra staffing if there is an active fire nearby
  • developing an updated training program undertaking practice exercises to ensure crews are well prepared.
A range of measures were put in place in response to the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry to improve fire management in coal mines.

Quotes attributable to Earth Resources Regulation’s Executive Director Anthony Hurst:

“Earth Resources Regulation is satisfied with the progress being made to ensure there is a competent workforce at the Hazelwood coal mine to manage fire risks.”

“We will continue to work closely with our co-regulators, the CFA and Worksafe, and Hazelwood Power Corporation to test the new workforce arrangements.”

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensure that effective safeguards are in place to protect the Morwell and wider Latrobe Valley community in the lead up to summer.”