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Last year saw Queensland suffer one of its worst years for safety on record, with a spike in the number of injuries.

The state’s coal mining industry was particularly hazardous with the Queensland commissioner for mine safety, Stewart bell stating “we have seen a disturbing rise in dangerous behaviour in underground coal mines”.

With this in mind the industry has launched a new program in an effort to halt this worrying trend.

RISKGATE is the largest health and safety project ever funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP).

The online information database has been specifically developed to capture and share knowledge across and between different coal mining companies about how to manage, treat, and control the risks associated with open cut and underground coal mining operations.

“The reason why RISKGATE was developed was that there was no coal industry body of knowledge available to assist individual mine sites in their aim of achieving best practice. RISKGATE is filling that knowledge void,” Centennial Coal spokesman and RISKGATE health and safety task group chair John Hempenstall said.

The first version of RISKGATE was officially released in December after “two years of solid work” project manager Philipp Kirsch told Australian Mining.

“The database we have developed is the most comprehensive in Australia. There has been input from Australia’s six largest coal companies and I am confident it will lead to fewer incidents,” Kirsch said.

The program aims to better equip personnel to handle risk within the sector.

“Australian coal companies focus significant resources in managing risk. With RISKGATE, you will have the ability to bring the industry’s current knowledge into the room when you do a risk assessment,” Tony Egan from Xstrata Coal said on behalf of ACARP