UNIVERSITY of Newcastle researcher Brian Kelly has outlined progress on a landmark $350,000 study into mental health in the coal industry at an annual health and safety conference at Cessnock.
Professor Brian Kelly was one of three academics awarded the grant from Australian Coal Research in 2013.
The grant followed an earlier report on mental illness for the NSW Minerals Council, which hosted this week’s 2015 Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference at Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley.
Professor Kelly said substantial progress had been made on the study, and he outlined his work during the conference on Tuesday.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of support from industry to do the work, and the study is nearing completion over the next few months,’’ Professor Kelly said.
‘‘There are mental health problems in the industry and as you’d expect, there are a combination of individual and workplace-related factors,’’ he said.
Minerals Council of NSW chief executive Stephen Galilee said more than 400 people attended the conference dinner on Monday night, which included the announcement of a series of awards.
“These awards encourage NSW miners to identify where health, safety and environmental aspects of mining operations can be improved, and then design and implement solutions that can be adopted across the industry more broadly,” Mr Galilee said.
Speakers scheduled for Tuesday’s sessions included Department of Planning and Environment director David Kitto and NSW Environment Protection Authority chief executive Barry Buffier.
The conference finishes at lunchtime on Wednesday.