CFMEU says second death at Pilbara calls for immediate investigation

Image credit: flickr User: Chris&Steve

A 23-year-old man died last Sunday in Christmas Creek mine from injuries received in an accident at the heavy vehicle workshop.

Image credit: flickr User:  Chris&Steve
Image credit: flickr User: Chris&Steve

Mick Buchan, West Australian Secretary of the CFMEU Construction Division, said the second death at Fortescue Metals’ Christmas Creek mine in the Pilbara region calls for immediate investigation.

According to the news release by CFMEU, the union received a significant number of complaints about safety concerns on the site in recent months.

“This young man’s tragic death is the second fatality in just six months at this site,” Mr Buchan said.

“Two deaths on the same site in less than half a year should be immediately raising red flags under any circumstances, but in the context of massive cost-cutting measures it is a deeply, deeply disturbing situation. Our union has been receiving a number of anonymous emails and messages from workers, worried about a range of safety concerns on site, who have been too intimidated by management to identify themselves.”

Mr Buchan further added that the CFMEU knows that public forums have been flooded with comments consistent with what the Union has been hearing, alleging that so-called efficiencies have been prioritised over the safety of workers.

“We are demanding a full and thorough investigation of Fortescue Metals’ Christmas Creek mine. We want the full gamut of potential contributing factors to be examined in detail including potentially unsafe working hours on site, the capacity of unions to access the site to assess safety, the replacement of experienced workers with cheaper alternatives – the lot,” said Mr Buchan.

“This terrible death is a huge alarm that something is very, very wrong on this site. We need to get to the bottom of it quickly and accurately before anyone else is killed or hurt.”