Local industry help make communities what they are, uniting people from all walks of life, working towards a common goal of creating strong and healthy employment and resources for local communities. The Central West is home to a wide variety of industries such as agriculture, hospitality, tourism, education and mining, and people across the region benefit from these industries in many ways including employment, lifestyle, access to resources and education.
Mining in particular has long been a strong industry with coal, gold, copper and other minerals extracted for both domestic and international supplies. Not only does coal mining provide hundreds of jobs for locals but the use of that coal, including powering the Mt Piper Power Station, employees many more and provides electricity to approximately 15 per cent of NSW.
In the coalfields of Lithgow and Mudgee, employment in coal mining is the highest it has been in seven years, and makes up just over 14 per cent of the NSW coal industry workforce. In the last financial year, these mining operations accounted for almost 20 per cent of the state's raw coal production and continues to increase. While coal mining is what the task, it is the industry's hard working employees that makes success possible.
Coal Services is a specialised health and safety scheme that looks after coal mining workers by providing a range of services to help identify, assess, monitor and control many risks inherent in the NSW coal mining industry. Coal Services prides itself on its ongoing commitment to the health and safety of the NSW coal mining industry and their commitment is steeped in history, having been involved in the industry in one form or another for more than 90 years.
The company currently employs around 40 people across the western region to service the medical, occupational hygiene, emergency response and training needs of the industry. In the last twelve months ending June 30, this included:
- 2,024 pre-placement and periodic medical assessments to monitor the health of the workforce and protect against occupational disease
- 3,242 attendances at Mines Rescue training courses, helping to build safety leaders for the industry
- 874 respirable and inhalable dust samples on workers across every coal mine site in the region
The above are just some of the preventative services provided that support all NSW coal mine workers, employers and the communities in which they operate. It is companies like Coal Services and Centennial Coal that help support local communities through employment, worker welfare and contributing to a range of causes across the region.