Case against Tasmanian mine deaths resumes

Charges against Copper Mines of Tasmania (CMT) are proceeding in August after the company failed to meet health and safely requirements that lead to the deaths of three workers.

The company, which operates Queenstown’s Mt Lyell mine, was charged with failure to comply with health and safety obligations after a WorkSafe Tasmania investigation found that two men fell to their deaths in December 2013 when a platform they were standing on in a shaft broke, in a report by the Mercury.

Court documents claim the platform the men were standing on was not attached to another structure and broke when a linkage arm and plate from a machine they had been working on fell on it from above.

The company is also facing another charge after another man died in a mud rush in January 2014.

CMT was first due to appear in Court in September 2015, but it was delayed until December.

Magistrate Michael Brett expressed frustration that the company was not ready to enter a plea to the charge, which, if convicted, has a maximum fine of $1.5 million.

They were expected to enter their plea in March, but the case was adjourned, with the delay causing further frustration for both the families of the men and union representatives.

WorkSafe Tasmania has alleged the platform did not provide proper safety against failure.

The company’s general manager at the time was also charged for failing to meet his obligations as a site officer.

The case resumes at the Burnie Magistrates Court on August 8.

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