Professor David Cliff

Professorial Research Fellow

Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre
Sustainable Minerals Institute
+61 7 334 64086


David Cliff was Professor of Occupational Health and Safety in Mining and Director of MISHC from 2011 to 2016. In January 2017 he was appointed Professor of Risk and Knowledge Transfer. His primary role is providing education, applied research and consulting in health and safety in the mining and minerals processing industry. He has been at MISHC over fifteen years.

Previously David was the Safety and Health Adviser to the Queensland Mining Council, and prior to that Manager of Mining Research at the Safety In Mines Testing and Research Station. In these capacities he has provided expert assistance in the areas of health and safety to the mining industry for over twenty three years. He has particular expertise in emergency preparedness, gas analysis, spontaneous combustion, fires and explosions, including providing expert testimony to the Moura No.2 Warden’s inquiry, the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry and the Pike River Royal Commission. In recent times he has also devoted a lot of energy to fitness for duty issues particularly fatigue management. He has been a member of the organising committee for the level one emergency exercises in Queensland underground coal mines since their inception in 1998. He has also attended or provided assistance in over 30 incidents at mines.

David has also extensive experience in providing training and education in OHS in mining to in many countries.

He has published widely in the area of occupational health and safety in mining including not just the physical hazards but also on the processes for the effective management of these issues. Examples of this include reviews of the annual safety performance report for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and assistance to the Mine Safety Advisory Council of NSW in developing Health Management Plans (HMP) and key performance indicators for HMP.

Research Interests

  • Occupational Health and Safety in Mining
  • Principal Hazard Management in Mining
  • Gas Analysis and interpretation in mining
  • Artisanal Mining OHS
  • Emergency Management

Research Impacts

David has been active in providing education, training and advice on OHS issues to many countries including: India, Mongolia, Peru, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, China, the United States of America and Indonesia. In many of these countries he has provided support to government agencies as they struggle to cope with the demands of rapidly expanding minerals extraction industries. A key area of focus has been on the small scale and artisanal mining sector in these countries. He has established relationships with universities and government agencies in many of these countries.


  • GDipBsAdmin, Queensland University of Technology
  • GDipOutdoorEd, Brisbane College of Advanced Education
  • GDipEnvSt, Macquarie University
  • PhD, University of Cambridge
  • BSc (Hons), Monash University


View all Publications


View all Supervision



Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

  • D. I. Cliff and M. Roche eds. (2001). Fly-in Fly-out operation - Issues and management. Fly-in Fly out operation - Issues and management, Townsville and Brisbane, Australia, Feb 2001. Brisbane: Queensland Mining Council.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision