The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council (MSAC) has identified contractors and inexperienced employees as the principal vulnerable workers in the state's mining and extractives industry.

Vulnerable workers are those who may not receive equity and access to rights to work and, as a result, face discrimination and an elevated health and safety risk.

This group is not on the radar of many employers in the industry, despite the fact that these workers are over-represented in fatality and injury statistics.

Vulnerable workers may be more exposed to risk than other employees. Therefore, strategies such as increased supervision, tailored training and workplace or job re-design is recommended to ensure their health and safety.

Specific vulnerabilities and challenges facing these workers include bullying, long hours, inexperience and poor access to hazard information and training.


Lack of job security and employment safeguards are two issues facing contractors or employees on tenuous employment contracts.

Contractors bring specialist skills, but may be less familiar with the workplace, environment, other workers and work procedures. They may also be engaged in high risk work.

Inexperienced workers

Inexperienced workers are considered to have less than one year's experience.