Fortescue welcomes WA clarification over safety comments

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Image credit: flickr User: cluckva1

Fortescue has resumed surface mining operations at the Metals Group’s Christmas Creek mine following the death of a contractor a week ago.

Image credit: flickr User: cluckva1
Image credit: flickr User: cluckva1

According to the report on The Australian, the company has suspended all mining operations as Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) carried out a site investigation to determine the cause of the fatal accident. This was the second casualty at the iron ore mine in less than five months.

Fortescue has issued a statement clarifying published comments in the media relating to safety culture along with special directions ensuring that the company tightens safety procedures at all its operations.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer Nev Power has welcomed the DMP’s clarification of comments and said safety was a core value at the company. He said the discussions about safety culture with DMP were in a very different context and related to smaller mining contractors and the efforts to ensure the Fortescue safety culture was being embedded with contracting partners’ workforce.

“These comments were not limited to Fortescue Metals Group,” the department said.

“The department receives and acts on all complaints raised from across the sector where it establishes evidence.”

Mr Power called for team members to raise any safety concerns they may have and present them to the senior management who will address any safety issue if they turn out to be justified.

According to him, Fortescue will thoroughly investigate the Christmas Creek workshop accident to determine if changes are required to make sure similar incidents never occur again. As instructed by DMP, the company will also tighten safety procedures, including lock out/tag out procedures around identified hazards.

The contract worker suffered fatal injuries while undertaking maintenance work at Christmas Creek Mine’s heavy vehicle workshop, four and a half months after another fatality at the same mine.