Nifty fine over worker death

NIFTY Copper Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Minerals, has been fined $60,000 in the Perth Magistrates Court in relation to the death of an underground worker at the company’s Nifty Copper Mine in the Western Australian Pilbara.
Nifty fine over worker death Nifty fine over worker death Nifty fine over worker death Nifty fine over worker death Nifty fine over worker death

Aditya Birla operating at Nifty.

Noel Dyson

The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum considered appealing the fine given to Nifty Copper but ultimately decided not to.

Adam Hardaker, a load haul dump operator at the mine, was struck and killed by a 1000kg rock on May 11 2015.

The 46-year-old was bogging out a freshly blasted stope.

Hardaker had been using a hose to spray water onto the blasted rocks to remove blockages and encourage the flow of rocks for easier removal from the draw point.

This required him to be outside his vehicle and placed him in a vulnerable position in the event of a rock fall in the stope.

After failing to return to the surface at the end of his shift Hardaker was found deceased by his co-workers.

Following an investigation by the DMP Nifty Copper admitted its failure to implement a safe system of work, which exposed workers to rock fall hazards in the mine, and ultimately led to Hardaker’s death.

DMP mines safety inspector and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said Hardaker’s death should not have happened.

“The company had a number of easily implementable safety measures that should have been used in the area where Mr Hardaker was working,” Chaplyn said.

“This included using one of the company’s remote control boggers in the area, the construction of a safety bund and enforcing strict exclusion zones around the area until a safety bund was in place.

“The company’s failure to implement safe systems of work directly led to Mr Hardaker being exposed to serious known safety risks and resulted in his death.”

Following Hardaker’s death Nifty Copper updated its procedures to include strict exclusion zones until safety bunds were in place.

The company entered a guilty plea, which was taken into account by the court.