Company Offers Free Cancer Prevention Skin Checks

Toowoomba construction company McNab have reportedly shown their dedication to the continued awareness and prevention of skin cancer for their staff. Queensland is the capital of skin cancer in Australia and Australia has one of the highest death-rates for melanoma in the world.

McNab launched a Safe Summer campaign which informs and educates staff about sun exposure, hydration and personal protection from the sun and UV rays.

McNab have joined forces with Danger Sun Overhead’s Joanne Crotty whose husband, a carpenter, died from melanoma skin cancer at the age of 43.

“I never thought I’d be a widow at 38 with four young children, especially from an illness that is preventable… and I’m just one story,” Ms Crotty said.

“80 per cent of cancers detected in Australia are skin cancers and two out of three people will be diagnosed before they are 70 years of age.

“There is a need for education.”

McNab has even gone to the extent of offering staff free skin cancer inspections throughout the  summer months and it is already proving to be a successful movement.

McNab HSEQ Manager John Martinkovic said “With the incentive for our staff to get checked for free, we are seeing them book themselves in for an appointment, and their families as well. We’ve already seen cases of melanomas being treated earlier.

“There is no cure for skin cancer, and the fatality statistics are only going up. Your only hope is early detection” he said.

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Source: http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/hunter-mines-fatality-free-for-2012

Confined Spaces: Galaxy Blast Claims Another Life

Another worker has succumbed to the effects of an explosion that occurred last November at a Chinese Lithium plant owned by Galaxy Resources.

Australian Securities Exchange released an update earlier this week stating that a second worker had died as a result of an infection sustained from the injuries following the accident.

Galaxy had previously revealed that several employees and contractors were exposed to heated sodium sulphate solution  and suffered second-degree burns. Investigations into the causes of the explosion were reportedly done by the company and China’s Suzhou Safety Bureau.

Their report concluded that an “abnormal and unexpected blockage” resulted a mass of sodium sulphate which caused the fibreglass pipework to rupture.

“Employees and contractors affected by the incident continue to recover, and the company continues to support them and their families,” the statement said.

“The company has business, commercial and welfare insurance policies in China that cover the business interruption and the affected employees.”

Galaxy  reported that stainless steel replacements were on the way and the the ruptured section is expected to be repaired by February.

The company manages the Mt Cattlin mine.

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/15844412/second-worker-dies-after-galaxy-blast/

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WesTrac Pays Out For Worker’s Lost Leg

Two companies will pay out a quarter million dollars for a workplace accident which resulted in a  man’s leg getting crushed while he was working on a reservoir at Eraring power station.

According to the Industrial Court, On July 2,2009 the WesTrac employee was at the site to repair a dozer which was leased to earthmoving company, Hardy Bros Mining and Constructions Pty Ltd.

The victim — with the help of other workers, was attaching a 1352 kg piece of equipment to the dozer when the equipment fell and stuck the victim and falling on his right leg.

His leg was subsequently amputed below the knee.

WesTrac, Hardy Bros and Hardy Bros director Robert Hardy all face charges under the OHS act, and have pleaded guilty.

The judge presiding over the case said they had failed to provide a safe system of work and failed to provide adequate equipment for carrying the replacement part.

WesTrac was fined $150,000, Hardy Bros $105,000 and Robert Hardy $11,250.  The judge ordered them to also pay legal costs.

‘‘The evidence demonstrates that [the offenders] have taken responsibility in different ways for their acts and omissions in relation to this accident,’’ Justice Haylen said.

‘‘In particular, WesTrac has provided not only financial [support], but support at many levels for [the victim] from the time of his hospitalisation through to his rehabilitation, and in securing a career for him within the company structure.

‘‘It is to be noted that, despite its extensive safety programs, there remained a significant gap in [WesTrac’s] safety processes relating to repairs in the field.’’

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Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1168039/companies-fined-for-lost-leg/?cs=305 

 

Confined Spaces:CFMEU Campaigns Against QLD Mining Legislation

The CFMEU has launched a campaign against the Queensland State Government’s proposed safety legislation changes.

The ad which was recently broadcasted, utilizes the symbol of death itself, the grim reaper, and makes reference to the recent disaster at the Pike River mine in New Zealand which killed 29 men.

The ad went to air to coincide with Joanne Ufer’s address to parliament. Ufer’s son was killed in the 2010 Pike River mine disaster.

She used her address to appeal to the government to stop its proposed safety legislative changes, CQ news reported.

“Mine safety is a matter of life and death.” Ufer said.

“My family will never recover from what happened to Joshua but I wanted to make sure the government knew the implications of messing with a safety system acknowledged to be the best in the world.”

The union said the State Government was under pressure from the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) to remove powers currently held by mine check inspectors and place the authority in the hands of mine management.

Check inspectors currently have the power to halt production; any move to restrict or remove this authority would reverse the lessons learnt from the Pike River Royal Commission, the CFMEU said.

CFMEU Queensland secretary Tim Whyte has appealed to the QRC to drop its proposed safety deregulation plans.

“Queensland has the safest mining industry in the world – why mess with it?” he said.

Earlier this month Australian Mining reported the CFMEU was fighting the Queensland Resources Council’s push to ‘deregulate’ mine safety.

At the time the QRC said the union had abused its ability to close mines and these changes to safety rules would bring regulations closer to those in NSW.

This latest campaign comes after the CFMEU’s mining adverts were last week shelved by Qantas, marked as being against the company’s advertising guidelines, Luke Enright Qantas spokesman said.

“It ran for a day and then we had it pulled off the next day,” he said. “It wasn’t censoring a union ad – we don’t allow any political ads.”

The CFMEU’s national secretary Michael O’Connor condemned the decision, saying it was undemocratic to stop legitimate public debate.

“There is nothing remotely controversial about these commercials,” he said.

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Source: http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/cfmeu-calls-to-stop-the-deregulation-of-mine-safet

Purported Cause of Mount Lyell Disaster To Be Challenged

The cause of the Mount Lyell mining disaster is being currently being debated as it awaits its centenary.

Flames ignited in the North Mount Lyell mine in October 1912, resulting in the deaths of 42 miners and the entrapment of approximately 100 workers underground.

A Royal Commission released an open finding but the company fingered an employee as the one responsible. The company claims that the incident was caused by an employee lighting the fire.

Renowned historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote a book about 50 years ago in which he ascertained that the fire was deliberately lit.

“Not with the idea of causing death but with the idea of causing a shock,” he said.

But former MP Peter Schultz  is an author of a new book that challenges that position.

He told 730 Tasmania he wanted clear the air and dispute the company’s claims.  Shultz believes the company suppressed evidence of several electrical fires that had previously occurred. He added, that despite the commission’s findings that there had only been one fire, there was actually evidence indicating that five fires had occurred and that the pump station was especially dangerous.

“There were no fuses in the control circuits and on two of the previous occasions where there had been fires, they had to switch off the power to be able to put the fires out.”

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-06/cause-of-mt-lyell-disaster-questioned/4299184?section=tas

Confined Spaces : Queensland Won’t Undermine Mine Safety

Confined Spaces TrainingThe Queensland Government has released a press release regarding the safety legislation of the mining industry. According to the press release, the government is currently awaiting notice from the resources sector on a proposal to harmonise Queensland’s mine safety legislation with other states.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps recently released a paper welcoming industry comment on the model act.  Despite efforts to harmonise the safety legislation, there are some concerns with the process.  However Cripps said that every effort is being made to ensure that the new model laws were at least as effective as the current mining laws.  Cripps cited public fears that since Queensland’s laws are already of good quality, then they may risk adopting lesser-quality harmonised mine safety legislation.  Cripps encourages the mining industry to provide input on the mining safety legislation. The Newman Government is allegedly committed providing the highest safety standards with minimal risk to the 58,000 Queenslanders in the industry.

Industry stakeholders have until July,23 2012 to provide input to the State Government.

The laws are reported to be developed with the partnership of industry professionals and union representatives.

The Newman LNP Government  is reportedly unconvinced that the national model legislation is the best thing for Queensland  and for mine safety.

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Source: http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/queensland-wont-compromise-on-mine-safety,25969

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