UPDATED: A FIFO worker accused of murdering his colleague at a Western Australian mine has been remanded in custody to appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on November 27.
Troy Adam Hausler, 30 of Craigie has been accused of killing 40-year-old father of three, Toby Richter, following an altercation at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora mine site, about 120km south of Port Hedland on Monday morning. Both workers reportedly worked for Crushing Services International, a division of WA mining company Mineral Resources.
Police allege that the accused killer wrapped his body in a tarp and was in the process of trying to move the body when he was stopped by other mine workers near the entrance to a crusher conveyor.
Nine News Perth’s Jerrie Demasi reported that Western Australian police will allege Mr Hausler carried the body down an underground tunnel at the mine site and rolled it up inside a canvas ute cover.
Ms Demasi said police will further allege Mr Hausler was planning to move the concealed body to his vehicle but he was confronted by workers in the tunnel who spotted the victim’s feet.
Hausler faced South Hedland Magistrates Court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody.
In a statement, Pilbara Minerals said the “tragic incident … involved contractor personnel … and not direct employees”.
General Manager of External Affairs for Mineral Resources, Gary Gray, told news sources that the company was supporting both families and had offered counselling support to other employees.
“We reached out to both families as soon as we had police clearance to do so,” he said.
“Mineral Resources is supporting its entire workforce during these difficult times, in particular, those who are working at Pilgangoora mine and their families.
“Our leadership and support team travelled to the site immediately and, as soon as the police released the site, employees who wanted to return home were supported in doing so.
“The support we are providing to staff and their families includes specialised counselling services.”
The incident has highlighted issues of potential workplace violence in the mining industry.
Workplace Violence included an incident where a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances arising out of, or in the course of their work. The violence can be either directed at the person or as a result of witnessing violence against someone else.
According to Safe Work Australia, the definition of workplace violence covers a broad range of actions and behaviours that create a risk to the health and safety of all workers. Examples include:
- biting, spitting, scratching, hitting, kicking
- punching, pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing
- throwing objects
- verbal threats
- aggravated assault
- any form of indecent physical contact
- threatening someone with a weapon or armed robbery.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that risks of workplace violence are assessed.
Image: Adobe Stock – Not actual crime scene – illustration purposes only
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