Mincor Operations Pty Ltd has been fined $65,000 for an incident that occurred at its Miitel Nickel Mine in the Goldfields.
|Date:||Friday, 25 August 2017|
Mincor Operations Pty Ltd has been fined $65,000 in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court for an incident that occurred at its Miitel Nickel Mine in the Goldfields.
On 2 April 2015 a surveyor was reversing a Toyota Land Cruiser down an underground access drive when he accidently reversed the rear wheels over the edge of a 19-metre deep open stope.
The surveyor braked in time to avoid plummeting into the stope and was rescued from the vehicle by his co-workers after radioing for help.
The surveyor was on his way to conduct a cavity monitoring survey and was looking for an 'open stope below' sign which he believed to be 30 to 50 metres away from the edge of the open stope.
He intended to stop his vehicle at this sign and set up the surveying equipment.
An investigation by inspectors from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety found there was no safe work procedure in place for workers conducting surveys, inadequate instructions on signage within single-entrance headings and no physical barricade protecting workers from the open stope.
Mines Safety Director Andrew Chaplyn said a stope with a drop of 19 metres created an obvious hazard and presented a risk of serious injury or death.
"There were a number of practicable steps the company could have taken to avoid the surveyor being exposed to that hazard," Mr Chaplyn said.
"This included installing a physical barrier at the edge of the stope and ensuring adequate signage was in place.
"In addition, there was no safe work procedure in place for surveyors conducting a survey in an underground access tunnel."
Mr Chaplyn said the case highlighted the importance of companies ensuring they have established and adequate safety systems in place, and that these systems are applied.
"This could quite easily have been a fatal incident and the means to prevent it could have been implemented at relatively small cost or inconvenience to the company," Mr Chaplyn said.
In handing down the penalty, the court took into account the company’s early guilty plea and cooperation with investigators.