Fortescue hits out at false ‘work death’ claim

Fortescue head Nev Power has slammed contractors and unions for falsely claiming a worker sustained an injury onsite prior to his death last week.

Power quashed rumours flying around the Pilbara that a rigging supervisor who died last week from an infection had previously cut his leg at FMG's Cloudbreak mine, The West reports.

Unions have reportedly pushed for industrial action and contractors have been seen to put out safety alerts and flyers following the incident.

However Power added that these 'misinformed' flyers failed to mention that the rigger died due to his medical predispositions, which led to an adverse reaction to a common bacteria.

"I can absolutely confirm there was no workplace incident or injury that caused it or triggered it," Power said.

"Unfortunately there have been a number of contracting companies, a number of them not even working for us, that have seen fit to put out a safety notice claiming this was a workplace injury."

Power did add that the man first became ill at Fortescue's Cloudbreak iron ore mine and was flown to hospital, where he later died.

While the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union called for a safety audit on site to ensure other workers weren't at risk, the Health Department rejected their claims, stating that due to the nature of the event there was no risk present.

Fortescue is currently engaged in a battle with the Federal Government over its challenge to the Mineral Resources Rent Tax.

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