Occupational Health and Safety: Contractor Crushed By Coal Truck

A New South Wales Hunter Valley mine has been shut down for the time being following the death of a contractor.

The contractor was killed after suffering crushing injuries from a coal truck.Emergency crews were called to the scene near Singleton. A spokesperson for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) reports that the trainee pulled out from a give-way sign onto the mines haulage road when her four-wheel drive was struck by a fully packed coal truck.

The driver of the truck had to be taken to a nearby hospital for reportedly suffering shock.

All operations have been closed down until the police and NSW Government mine inspectors have finished their investigations.

A statement from the Glencore mine said its  “primary concern is for the safety, care and welfare of our employees and we are providing all possible support for the families of the people involved”.

Staff at the mine can access counseling which was supplied for by management.

The state’s Minister for Resources, Chris Hartcher,  said an extensive report is being compiled before being sent to the coroner.

“I would like to personally extend my condolences to the families, co-workers and employers of those involved in this tragic accident,” he said in a statement.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-01/worker-killed-at-hunter-valley-coal-mine/5127356?section=nsw

Confined Space:Company Fined For Crippling Miner

confined spacesBroken Hill mining company Perilya has been ordered to pay a fine stemming from an  accident five years ago that left a miner in a wheelchair.

The Industrial Court of NSW ruled that Perilya will pay $260,000 over the crippling accident in 2008.

Rod Flight was left a quadriplegic after the front-end loader he was operating at, toppled over and trapped him beneath it.

The court ruled that Perilya’s failure to maintain the vehicle resulted in a diminished braking capacity and a faulty warning light and alarm.

The company also failed in ensuring that staff maintained the right safety paperwork.

Perilya handed a guilty plea to the courts for failing to ensure the safety of its employees under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Mr Flight now lives in Adelaide and is paralysed from the neck down.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-07/company-fined-for-turning-miner-into-quadriplegic/4739802

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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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

Mining Safety Boss Calls for Feedback From The Industry

Confined Spaces SafetyFour new mine inspectors have been appointed throughout Australia. The inspectors will be predominately focusing on the state’s Northwest, while the the other will cover the Southwest.  The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum stated that each inspector brings forth experiences from varying backgrounds, whether it be an expertise in geotechnical,mechanical, process engineering and mining engineering.

Simon Ridge, DMP state mining engineer stated that the new appointments fall under the Department’s efforts to improve and maintain safety under the RADARS program.  Each inspector completed intensive training programs which will help ensure that their work is of the highest standards. Ridge said that the main focus is the implement a cultural change within the industry –by encouraging operators to keep safety a top priority at all times.

Ridge has assisted significantly in the appointment of 25 mines safety inspectors in the previous two years.

Recently, the DMP resources safety boss urged mining industry operators to review proposed new health and safety regulations for WA.

The Commonwealth,State and Territory Governments, unions and employer organisations; have developed a new national model for WHS Regulations and model codes of practice. Ridge is currently undertaking consultation on the model legislation.

The process is currently aimed at determining the cost and benefits of the proposed regulations that would apply to the mining industry in WA. Ridge has encouraged mining industry stake holders to involve themselves in the consultation process. Ridge encouraged the submission of feedback from mining industry professionals so that the new regulations could effectively be applied to the minerals sector.

According to the DMP, financial consultants Marsden Jacob Associates will be receiving feedback until October 12.

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Source :http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/new-safety-inspectors-hit-wa-mines

Confined Spaces: Trapped NZ Miners Make It Out Safely

Mining SafetyTwenty-eight miners were rescued after being trapped underground in a New Zealand mining site. The miners were trapped in the gold mine when a truck caught on fire. The men were compelled to find shelter in a specially designed refuge chamber prior to being safely evacuated out of the mine.

NZ mining industry has claimed the lives of hundreds of miners since the industry emerged over a century ago.

Twenty-eight miners who were trapped underground in a New Zealand mine have been safely rescued.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell was confident throughout the situation that miners would remain safe. O’Connell said that the mine was built in such a way that the miners could survive for numerous days based on the amount of amenities available. O’Connell was confident that the training of the miners would provide them with the knowhow to get through similar situations.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-17/fire-in-nz-gold-mine/4135340

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

Confined Spaces: Mine Worker Injured At Leonora mining site

Mining Safety TrainingA young mine worker was injured in an underground incident in Leornora. He sustained injuries to his throat and chest area when he was struck by some apparatus.

He was airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Royal Perth Hospital where he received treatment.

The accident took place at the King of the Hills mine a few kilometres north-west of Leonora. According to St Barbara Managing Director and CEO Tim Lehany, the man is a worker for contracting company Byrnecut.

The mine is owned by a Melbourne gold mining company, St.Barbara. Lehany alleges that the incident did not result in any falling rocks. According to a spokesperson, there is currently no scheduled formal investigation by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/13474320/man-injured-in-mining-accident/ 

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