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Significant changes to workers compensation insurance requirements for employers involved with coal

Do your employees attend coal mine sites for work, or carry out coal mining activities off site? If so, from 1 October 2018 you will likely need to effect additional workers compensation insurance for those workers.

What are the changes?

Historically, employers “in the coal industry” have been required to take out workers compensation insurance with a specific insurer – Coal Mines Insurance (CMI) – in respect of their employees working in the industry.

An amendment has recently been made to the Coal Industry Act providing quite a broad definition of what an employer “in the coal industry” is taken to mean – with the result that a significant number of employers not previously required to effect insurance with Coal Mines Insurance will now be required to do so. If you are affected, you must have additional insurance in place by 1 October 2018.

Do I need to effect insurance with CMI?

You will need to effect insurance with CMI if your employees either:

  1. work in or about a coal mine, and are engaged in mining activities in the coal industry; or,

  2. do not work in or about a coal mine, but are engaged in mining activities in the coal industry,

Some examples of employment arrangements that will require a policy with CMI are where you have employees:

  • that work in or about a coal mine for all or only part of a year;

  • that work some of the time in or about a coal mine, and elsewhere for the rest of the time;

  • that only work in or about a coal mine, and other employees that never work in or about a coal mine;

  • that provide services ancillary to coal mining (for example, mining equipment maintenance and repairs, and construction);

  • working on offsite coal washery and preparation plants;

  • working in mine operator workshops;

  • working in mining contractor workshops; and,

  • working in mine operator administration offices.

What if my employees only work on a mine site part time?

Where your employee(s) only spend part of their time working in or about a mine, you will need to effect two workers compensation policies for those employee(s) – one with CMI and one with your regular workers compensation insurer. You will be required to estimate the percentage of time the worker spends working in or about a mine and split and declare the relevant wages to each insurer.

How do I take out a policy with Coal Mines Insurance?

Contact your insurance broker, or Coal Mines Insurance directly at:

(02) 8270 3257

CMI has published a helpful brochure of frequently asked questions, which can be viewed here.


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