Beaconsfield mine disaster survivor Brant Webb has shared his experience of the mine collapse to highlight safety issues on mine sites at today’s opening of GME.
The 2006 Beaconsfield mine collapse killed miner Larry Knight and trapped Brant Webb and Todd Russell for two weeks.
The infamous disaster captivated the country and highlighted the safety issues miners’ face in their day-today work.
Today at the GME in Kalgoorlie, survivor Brant Webb shared his terrifying experience to keep issues of mining safety in the spotlight.
In describing what being trapped was like, Webb said he suffered from concrete burns, hallucinations and exhaustion as the 15 days underground took their toll.
“We were like caged rats at that point in time,” he said.
“The most terrifying time was when the machinery stopped , when they had a seismic event and everybody got called off and we’re still sitting there with all the noise stopped, it was deathly eerie.”
Webb now works for BLH Safety Solutions and said that although mine safety was getting better, there were still too many injuries on sites, especially by the way of falling objects.
“We had 4000 people hit last year in incidents, we lost 20 people and that’s way too many in my eyes,” he said.
Webb went onto say that the loss of one person on site and the affect this has not only family, but friends and the mining community as whole as devastating.
“We have to try and keep that safety culture up.”
"Accidents don’t happen, they’re caused,” he added.
Webb also pointed to the FIFO lifestyle of workers and said making sure any issues were communicated properly was key to maintaining a healthy state of mind.