Authorities are investigating how a large locomotive struck and killed a resources employee.
WorkSafe, the Office of National Rail Safety Regulator and Western Australian Police Force are trying to determine what caused a train to fatally collide with a BHP mine worker.
Emergency responders were called to the Port Hedland rail yard at about 9:30pm on 7 February 2023. Despite paramedics’ best efforts to stabilise the victim they had no choice but to declare him deceased at the scene.
The proponent expressed condolences and suspended all WA iron ore operations for a “safety stop”.
“It is with deep sadness that we advise that a member of BHP’s WA team was fatally injured in an incident at our rail yard in Port Hedland last night. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the individual’s loved ones and colleagues at this tragic time,” a company spokesperson said in a public statement.
“The site incident management team has been activated and police have attended the scene. BHP is working closely with the relevant authorities and we will also undertake a full investigation to understand what has happened.”
Those impacted by the tragedy have already been offered “employee assistance”.
“Counselling services are available for the team there and we are encouraging anyone affected by this incident to contact our employee assistance program provider,” the employer said.
The Western Mine Workers Alliance (WMWA) was surprised to discover the BHP worker had died and urged the industry to improve work, health and safety conditions.
“WMWA is shocked and saddened to hear a worker has lost their life at BHP’s rail yard in Port Hedland last night. Our deepest condolences go out to all impacted workers, family, and friends,” a spokesperson said on Facebook.
“All workers should go to work and return home safely to their family. One death at work is one too many.”