AMSJ » Mining giant reports second fatality in three months

Mining giant reports second fatality in three months

Olympic dam truck
Olympic dam truck

A major resources producer twice failed to ensure workers return home safely from duty.

BHP recently confirmed a pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle at the Olympic Dam mine.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of our workforce died at our Olympic Dam site. Our thoughts are with the person’s family, friends and colleagues and we are offering all the support we can during this difficult time,” a company spokesperson said according to News Limited.

Emergency responders were called to private property at about 5:30am on 25 April 2023, and confirmed the accident occurred within the mine’s boundaries. They declared a 25-year-old male from Two Wells dead at the scene.

“Major crash investigators attended the scene to assist with the investigation. SafeWork SA have been notified. Police will be preparing a report for the coroner,” South Australian Police said in a public statement.

The remarks came as coworkers and loved ones still mourn the sudden loss of Jody Byrne who died after a BHP train collided with him at the Boodarie rail yard (13km southwest of Port Hedland) on 7 February 2023. At the time the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) predicted this devastating event could be the first of many workplace incidents due to employers prioritising productivity over preparation.

“It has been said for a long time that what happened … may well be the start of an increase in incidents, unwanted incidents, because of people not being given the proper time to embed their training,” MEU Western Australian organiser Warren Johncock previously said.

“It is all about production.”

BHP earlier celebrated four years without a workplace fatality in its operational review for the year ending on 31 December 2022.

“BHP delivered safe and reliable operating performance in the first half of the 2023 financial year. Employees and contractors across BHP continued to prioritise safety, resulting in the fourth consecutive year without a fatality,” CEO Mike Henry said in the review.

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