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DMP releases report into first fatality of 2016

The Department of Mines and Petroleum have released a significant incident report into the death of a 32-year-old worker at a Rio Tinto mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Lee Buzzard, a maintenance worker, was killed at the Channar iron ore mine, 17 kilometres southeast of Paraburdoo, on June 19.

The drill fitter was working on a blast-hole drill rig and died after being crushed between the drill rod centraliser arm and drill head.

According to the report, two fitters were re-installing a head-slide wear pad for a drill head, which had fallen out during operation. The rig was being used under power to align and fit two head-slide bolts into the bolt holes.

The drill rod centraliser moved unexpectedly while the fitter was standing on the HOBO in a potential crush zone.

Mr Buzzard sustained fatal crush injuries to the chest and upper abdomen.

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AMSJ April 2022