Mining companies fined for failing to provide safe work environment

Two Rio Tinto subsidiaries have been fined a total of $90,000 after a worker suffered injuries to his arm at a Dampier port facility in November 2017.

Pilbara Iron Company (Services) Pty Ltd was fined $50,000 in the Karratha Magistrates Court while Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd was fined $40,000. Costs were adjourned until 4 March 2022.

The companies pleaded guilty for failing to provide a safe work environment.

Part of the injured worker’s job involved cleaning machinery at the Parker Point sample station to prevent iron ore building up and damaging the equipment. While inspecting a large conveyor from beneath the machine, the worker’s arm was caught between the head pulley and snub idler.

The conveyor did not have physical guarding to prevent access to its moving parts.

“While employees at Parker Point were instructed not to enter the area beneath the head pulley while the conveyor was moving, this did not prevent the injured worker from doing so which ultimately exposed him to entanglement.

“Employers should enforce suitable safe work practices and also conduct risk assessments on all machinery to identify hazards.”

Parker Point analyses iron ore quality for export and is one of two port facilities owned by Hamersley Iron.

Hamersley Iron engaged Pilbara Iron to provide support services at Parker Point under the Pilbara Iron Services Agreement.

The ultimate holding company for Hamersley Iron and Pilbara Iron is Rio Tinto.

Source: Mirage News

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