Independently testing mining equipment is one task only the Public Sector can do.
Underground mining is a dangerous occupation. A team of dedicated Public Sector workers in Western Sydney, however, is making this industry that much safer.
Heat and high levels of toxic gases such as methane means equipment that is perfectly safe above ground can be potentially lethal when used in mining.
Therefore when new technology is introduced to the industry, it is first tested at TestSafe’s facility in Londonderry, Sydney.
“The majority of our products tested are mining equipment,” said PSA member Jaison Davis. “Every now and again we get something from outside the industry.”
Some of the equipment, such as hard hats and respirators, can be used in a variety of industries.
Another TestSafe facility in Thornleigh tests analytical equipment.
In Queensland, mining equipment can only be used if tested in Australia, so the gear used in that state is sent to TestSafe.
The impartial nature of the TestSafe regime has kept it in public hands. Companies would not have the same faith in for-profit companies that may be pressured to pass equipment from paying customers. In addition, companies are wary of getting competing firms to examine new products when they test them.
“TestSafe members are proud of their work,” said Assistant General Secretary Troy Wright. “They can provide a testing regime that no private company can do with complete impartiality.
“Without our members at TestSafe, people would die at work. It is that simple.”