Mining worker

Why WHS training is essential for mining statutory roles

The WHS risk management units you need to ensure compliance 

4 minute read
Mining worker

In Western Australia, the completion of statutory mining position units are legislatively required, and facilitate safe and efficient operations on mine sites.

As the completion of these units are both necessary and demonstrably effective at improving standards at work, it is crucial to understand why they are important and to seamlessly integrate them into the professional life of those that hold statutory positions.

What are the mandatory nationally recognised units of competency?

Statutory positions, appointed by mine operators, involve various functions and obligations, with different levels of knowledge, experience and qualifications depending on the specific role.

Due to recent changes in legislation, employees in statutory positions must undertake these nationally recognised units of competency as a requirement of working.

“Since the introduction of the new Work Health and Safety (Mines) Regulations 2022, there has been a requirement for those holding statutory positions in the mining industry to complete work, health and safety (WHS) risk management units of competency,” AIM WA Head of Registered Training Organisations Lesley Reagon FAIM said.

“All mining employees holding statutory positions – as outlined in Schedule 26 – must hold the required units of competency by March 2026 to ensure their workplace is compliant.

“Breaching this requirement could put the mine site at risk and hinder the ability to continue as a statutory supervisor for an individual.”

For individuals in these positions, prioritising these changes is essential, as delaying completing the units may impact their ability to hold a statutory position.

What are the benefits for the employee?

As an employee, there are various personal benefits for completing these units, including a long-deserved, official recognition of the skills they already possess.

“These competencies are recognised across Australia and must be delivered by registered training organisations,” Ms Reagon said.

“This recognition provides individuals with assurance their competency meets industry standards and enhances their employability and opportunities for further education and training.”

This new standard also heralds a meaningful benefit to workplace culture and personal safety, according to Induct Train General Manager Craig Watson AIMM. The changes will also improve cohesion throughout the industry.

“This is a legislative requirement because we need to get better about how we look after people to get them home at the end of the day,” he said.

“Our previous legislation had some requirements but it didn’t really put any boundaries around it.

“It was up to the mine sites themselves on what they thought they needed to do to meet that legislation, whereas now, it’s very specific, and we use the national units of competency to give us that benchmark.

“This is a consistent benchmark right across the industry, so it doesn’t matter which part of the mine you’re actually working in – everyone will be talking the same language you speak.”

Mr Watson also highlighted how the completion of these units can provide some insight into the purpose and function behind tasks employees are already completing at work.

“It is a real eye-opener for our leaders in the mining sector of why they have to do the things they do,” he said.

“It’s surprising to them how much they already do which fits straight into the unit, and they go, ‘Oh, now it’s making some sense. It’s logical’.”

How can I complete these units?

Many avenues are available to employees who are required to complete these units, which can be personalised to each person’s and team’s expertise.

One of these avenues is recognition of prior learning (RPL), where the skills workers already possess are essentially formalised through assessment.

This method of obtaining these units values the workplace as a significant learning space. Assessment is based on tasks and processes – no formal training is required, saving time spent in classrooms and away from work.

“... You complete the units online – this option is ideal for those who don’t require classroom support and have the motivation and ability to complete the assessment tasks online in their own time,” Ms Reagon said.

Recognising WHS risk management is already an integral part of the role of a statutory supervisor, she said.

Offering multiple study options allows individuals the flexibility to select the option that best aligns with their circumstances.

“AIM WA also provides a two-day classroom course to provide you with support and time to complete the assessment requirements. All the tasks are scenario-based and contextualised to mining industry tasks and processes,” Ms Reagon said.

However, if you are not located in Perth, this course is also available at different regional locations across the state.

“We can also customise a solution to meet the specific needs of your team with flexibility in when and where the training is delivered,” Ms Reagon shared.

Where to from here?

Whichever option you choose, AIM WA offers a variety of pathways to help you attain the WHS units required for holding a mining statutory position.

There are a few simple prerequisites for either delivery method to completing this set of units, including two years of experience, current employment, existing knowledge and skills, access to workplace evidence, and support from your employer and manager.

Find out more about both options below:

WHS Training for Mining Statutory Positions course
WHS Training for Mining Statutory Positions units