BHP suspends operation on worker death

BHP Billiton has suspended its key iron ore rail and port operations at the Western Australian mining town of Port Hedland after a worker was killed.

BHP Billiton said it had ceased work at its Nelsons Point iron ore crushing and shipping facilities at the port until further notice.

It has also stopped transporting ore along the 426 km railway line from the inland town of Newman to Port Hedland.

The line hauls iron ore from several BHP Billiton mines including Mt Whaleback, Jimblebar, Mining Area C and Yandi, and carries more than 120,000 tonnes of iron ore each day.

A 52-year-old Port Hedland man was conducting maintenance work on a scissor lift at Port Hedland when it fell on him at 1300 AEST on Tuesday, a police spokeswoman said.

Worksafe is investigating and BHP Billiton is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

It is understood police are preparing a report for the coroner.

BHP Billiton said the man’s next of kin had not yet been notified.

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