MERC in the city

The annual MERC runs between 28 and 29 November at Langley Park.
Date: Friday, 27 November 2015

The fifth annual Mining Emergency Response Competition (MERC) is on this weekend at Langley Park in Perth.

Nine teams from across Western Australia will compete in seven events over the two-day competition.

Department of Mines and Petroleum Director Mines Safety and State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the competition simulates real life emergency situations and assesses the skills of teams across a range of disciplines.

“The competition is an excellent opportunity for emergency response teams to test their capabilities in challenging and realistic scenarios,” Mr Chaplyn said.

The metropolitan location of the competition gives Perth-based industry representatives, FIFO workers, mining families and the local community the opportunity to view firsthand the skills of mining emergency response teams.

Mr Chaplyn said that recent incidents provided a reminder of the importance of a site’s emergency response capacity.

“The past two weeks have seen two fatalities and a serious injury on WA mine sites,” he said.

“These incidents have tested the capabilities of mines emergency response teams and provide a tragic reminder of the confronting scenes these teams can face.

“The dedication these teams show to their workmates needs to be matched by an industry-wide commitment to make Western Australia’s mining industry safer.

“I would much prefer it if the only emergencies our mines rescue teams have to respond to are simulated ones through competitions such as MERC.”

This year the department is sponsoring the Emergency Response Team Readiness event and will provide adjudication and administrative support.

The event also raises awareness and money for charities chosen by the competing teams. Over the past four years the event has raised $168,000 for charity.

For more information about the competition visit the MERC website.