Evolution Mining fined after worker’s legs crushed

Evolution Mining, formerly La Mancha Resources, has been fined $95,000 after a worker’s legs were crushed by falling rocks at the Frog’s Leg gold mine.

The incident happened in March 2013 when Benedict Wydra, who had been employed as a heavy duty fitter, was working underground on a jumbo drill rig in an area where the ground support was being installed.

According to a WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) report, the area directly above Wydra was only partially supported, with no indication of where full ground support finished. He later got caught underneath falling rocks, sustaining multiple crush injuries to both of his lower legs, including serious fractures to his right leg.

DMP safety director and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the investigation also found that Wydra “was not adequately trained or given sufficient information to be able to identify whether or not it was safe to work in that section of the ore drive”.

“To the untrained eye, the ground appeared to be supported,” Chaplyn said.

Following the incident, the company revised its policy and procedures for installing ground support and ensuring unsupported ground is clearly identified.

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