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Updated at 3:33 pm on 14 July 2011
The head of Solid Energy says he would support a significantly strengthened mine inspectorate regime.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says only two of four recent incidents at Solid Energy's Spring Creek mine have been inspected.
Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder told the Royal Commission into the Pike River mine disaster about recent incidents, including one where a machine backed over cables causing them to arc and another where a front-end loader caught fire.
Dr Elder said his company was investigating how the incidents happened. "It gives me massive cause for concern," he said.
"There were no significant consequences from those (incidents) which simply says that all our controls in the mine to prevent the consequences worked as planned."
EPMU legal adviser Andrew Little says there were four ignition incidents in eight weeks, which is of serious concern even in a mine such as Spring Creek with comparatively good safety procedures.
Mr Little says in two of the incidents no inspector has attended the site and part of the reason the union has put the issue in front of the commission is to highlight the resourcing and quality of the inspectorate.
He says there's nothing to stop the Government reinstating a dedicated mines inspectorate and the post of chief mines inspector.
Dr Elder told Morning Report the events of the last eight weeks are not one-offs, but are ongoing hazards and incidents which are always being reported.
The company last year reported incidents as a result of coal heating up, Dr Elder says, and it does whatever it needs to ensure staff safety, for example by evacuating the mine and locking out parts of it where necessary.
Dr Elder says his company would support a strengthened mine inspectorate regime which he said would be a useful part of improved safety across the industry. He says his company exceeds regulatory and statutory standards.
The EPMU's Andrew Little says Solid Energy has properly logged the incidents and has a good reporting culture.
Copyright © 2011, Radio New Zealand
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