Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths

WESTERN Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has warned miners not to be complacent after two deaths in underground mines last week.
Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths Mine safety back in spotlight after WA deaths

 

Kristie Batten

A man was killed last Monday night while operating a bogger at Aditya Birla Minerals’ Nifty underground copper mine in the Pilbara.

Then on Friday, a contractor was fatally injured while working underground at Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold mine, also in the Pilbara.

Marmion told Parliament on Tuesday that he understood the worker was involved in charging activities in the Telfer underground.

Three inspectors from the Department of Mines and Petroleum were deployed to the site and investigations continue.

“Immediate action has been undertaken by the Department of Mines and Petroleum, issuing two improvement notices and three prohibition notices over the last three days as a direct result of this incident,” Marmion said.

Marmion extended his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the workers.

“All workplace deaths are tragic but this is even more disturbing because it is the second mine site death in Western Australia within a week, and the third for this year,” he said.

“We cannot be complacent; industry cannot be complacent, there is always room for improvement, and it should not come to an event like this to be reminded.”

Newcrest suspended Telfer following the incident.

“The Telfer open pit and plant are operational, with restricted throughput,” a Newcrest spokeswoman said yesterday morning.

“There is limited activity in the underground, while we continue with our investigation.”

An exploration contractor died in an accident at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine in January.

There were five fatal accidents in WA mines in the 2014 financial year.

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