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Operations commence after horror week in WA mines

Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd recommenced open stope bogging operations at the Nifty underground copper mine on Wednesday, after the death of a worker on May 11.

A statement from the company said a risk assessment was completed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum before operations began again, with the exception of the stope where the “unfortunate incident occurred”.

The death of the 46-year-old worker marked the beginning of a horror week in the resources industry, with a 28-year-old killed at Newcrest Telfer mine death on May 15.

The man, named as Josh Martin, was killed while operating an EWP basket during charging operations at the mine, located just 70km from Nifty.

A third death occurred on May 17, when a 36-year-old man was trapped by a hydraulic arm at the Sun Metals zinc refinery in Queensland.

The DMP conducted a thorough investigation in relation to the fatal incident of Mr Martin at Newcrest Telfer,  which revealed the worker was fatally injured when the charge-up basket or elevated work platform moved upwards, hits and crushed him against the roof of a cross cut.

The report recommended that the potential for a worker to be crushed between the basket and adjacent structure needs to be resolve in safe work methodology planning, and that the EWPs must be checked in order to assess the potential for unintentional activation of the controls.

The deaths have caught the attention of the parliament and companies were strongly advised not to be complacent on issues related to safety.

State Mines Minister Bill Marmion said the recent incidents were disturbing, citing the number of deaths in one week at Western Australian mines.

Mr Marmion said companies “cannot be complacent” speaking at the parliament.

“Industry cannot be complacent. There is always room for improvement, and it should not come to an event like this to be reminded,” he added.

WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy also released their statement which reiterates that there is absolutely no room for complacency in regard to safety.


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