Confined Spaces: Worker Injured by Fallen Rock

An underground mine worker at La Mancha Resources’ Frog’s Leg gold mine near Coolgardie was seriously injured in a rock fall yesterday.

The company said a rock became dislodged and fell on the 27-year-old man’s legs during routine machinery maintenance. It happened about 7am in an underground section of the mine.

“The company’s emergency response plan was immediately implemented and first aid was administered at the scene,” a La Mancha spokesman said.

The spokesman said the worker was having treatment at Kalgoorlie Hospital where he had been taken by the on-site ambulance.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum said it believed the worker had a crushed foot, broken leg and injured back.

Operations at Frog’s Leg were suspended after the accident but were expected to resume last night, apart from at the incident site, providing the company completed a full safety assessment to the satisfaction of the mines department.

The incident comes after it was last week reported the miner would look to double its workforce in the Goldfields. The expansion will be bankrolled by new owner and Cairo billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

About 160 people work at Frog’s Leg, but the miner wants to create 80 positions to reopen its White Foil open pit and 40 positions for its $110 million processing plant, due for completion next year.

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Source http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/16411448/worker-injured-in-mine-rock-fall/

Unions Want Tougher Consequences for Company Safety Oversights

working at heights safetyUnions have requested tougher consequences after a company was fined slightly more than a mine worker’s annual salary for an occupational health and safety accident that resulted in the death of a man.

John Holland received a fine of $242,000 by the Federal Court earlier this month for their breach of workplace safety laws by failing to protect staff from injury or death at a Pilbara mine.

The company’s oversight caused a death at BHP Billiton’s Mt.Whaleback site.

Wayne Moore died in early 2009 when he plummeted 12m from an unsafely secured sheet of grid mesh on a machine. It is undisclosed how much Moore earned, but the typical tradesmen in his sector often earned over $150,000 annually and senior workers often received over $250,000.

The court imposed the highest penalty under the old OHS safety regime when safety watchdog Comcare pursued a successful prosecution.  Later, the maximum penalty under the national system rose to $1.5 million for the same type of offense and $3m for more significant breaches. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union commented that the case displayed the inadequacies of penalties in the region.

State Secretary Mick Buchan stated that nominal fines sent a problematic message to employees since many in the sector earned the same around the same amount as the fine.

 

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/13531660/tougher-penalties-bid-for-fatal-safety-breach/                                                  

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