​Agnew Gold fined for safety incident

Angew Gold has been fined $75,000 for an underground safety incident in which three workers were injured.

In 2012 three workers were injured at the gold mine when sheets of roofing mesh, which were propped up against a wall in the West Australian underground operation, fell on them.

Two of the workers crushed suffered multiple pelvic injuries, while another received rib fractures and a lacerated liver.

It is understood that one of the workers also suffered a compound fracture in their right leg.

"Two of the workers were crushed and one was struck by the steel mesh when it fell,” according to Western Australia’s Department of Mines and Petroleum’s acting mine safety director Doug Barclay.

“Seventy-four sheets of steel mesh fell with a combined weight of almost three tonnes.”

Two of the miners worked for Gold Fields, while the third worked as a construction contractor.

“The way this mesh was stacked was contrary to the company’s own safe work procedures and counter to a 1999 recommendation by the State Coroner,” Barclay added.

These recommendations stemmed directly from a similar incident in 1998 in which a worker was killed at another Western Australian gold mine when they were crushed by 15 sheets of mesh that had been leaning against a wall.

Barclay said these recommendations highlighted that the risks were well known.

“This was a potentially deadly incident and it should not have occurred,” Barclay said.

“I hope this decision sends a strong message to industry about the importance of following safe work procedures and minimising risks.”

Agnew was under fire in 2013 for its harsh position on ‘safety’ after it fired 15 workers for doing the Harlem Shake while working underground, claiming the workers had “breached safety regulations”.

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