DMP investigates Fortescue after another Christmas Creek safety incident

The list of investigations into incidents at Fortescue Metals Group’s operations is growing with yet another safety issue at the iron ore miner’s Christmas Creek site on Friday.

The Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum has issued a prohibition notice to cease blasting at the Pilbara site after an incident occurred during charging operations.

No explosives were detonated and no one was injured as a result of the incident which happened in an area run by contractor Macmahon.

"The incident was reported to the department as required and an investigation by the Resources Safety Division is underway," DMP director of mines safety, Simon Ridge said.

Fortescue is declining to comment on the latest issue.

Fortescue’s safety record has been in the spotlight of late following a spate of serious accidents at its mine sites over the last six months.

Last month a worker airlifted after being involved in a forklift accident at the company’s Solomon Hub mine.

In the same week three drillers were left in the blast exclusion zone as a blast was fired off.

In August last year, 26-year-old electrician Kurt Williams was killed whilst carrying out maintenance work at Christmas Creek’s processing facility.

This resulted in Fortescue using its step-in options to take management and control of the facility away from the contractor, eventually resulting in FMG buying the ore processing facility at Christmas Creek.

In October an FMG contractor was airlifted from the same mine suffering serious leg and pelvis injuries after two haul trucks collided. The man’s left leg has since been amputated.

In late December the sector was shocked with another death at the mine and reacted by asking some serious questions about the safety culture at the company.

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