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FIFO party under investigation for potential safety breach

Fortescue truck flag
Fortescue truck (courtesy SoCo Studios)

A resources multinational was probed for the welfare of remote attendees at a major operation.

Authorities recently investigated safety concerns at a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) celebration near Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG’s) Solomon mine, 349km southwest of Port Hedland.

The Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety received an incident report from the rock concert attended by more than 700 high-profile people. FIFO guests included Millionaire Hot Seat presenter Eddie Maguire, Thorney Investment Group founding chairman Alex Waislitz, Mineral Resources director Tim Roberts, Aboriginal activist lawyer Noel Pearson, and Indigenous Advisory Council chairman Warren Mundine.

“FMG did not have to notify WorkSafe of the celebrations, and the company is responsible for the health and safety of all people who attend any of its mine sites,” WorkSafe deputy commissioner Sally North said according to the Australian Associated Press.

“WorkSafe mines safety [officers] did not visit the Solomon mine site immediately prior to the event but will continue to conduct its routine compliance inspections.”

The remarks came after APRS social media followers accused executive chairman Andrew Forrest of breaching workplace safety rules by waving a flag from a moving dump truck. Forrest, also known as ‘Twiggy’, later joined Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes on stage to sing the last chorus of “Working Class Man”.

FMG revealed its 20-year anniversary party occurred in a designated space that was separate from production. No mine employees attended. The event was touted to have the “highest” health and safety standards, risk management plan and responsible service of alcohol policy.

“Fortescue has a long history of holding events to celebrate milestones for its Fortescue family,” a spokesperson said according to the newswire agency.

“Our top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our team members, contractors and communities.”

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  • Workplace safety is all encompassing. A flagrant misbehaviour display by a senior position does not endorse a safety culture . This is regardless of a specific area, as, it was still on the mine site. Maladaptive behaviour displays send a message that it is OK to be risky as the BOSS does it.

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