Fortescue speaks out on safety [video]

Following a spate of serious incidents at Fortescue’s operations, company CEO Nev Power has spoken out about its stance on safety.

In a video uploaded to YouTube earlier this week Power states that he wishes to make the company’s position on safety clear.

"Following some uninformed public comment in relation to safety at Fortescue, I want to make clear where we stand on this key issue,” he said.

“Safety is core to everything we do at Fortescue and as Chief Executive Officer, I am ultimately accountable for the health and safety of everyone who sets foot on a Fortescue site.”

The video was posted as Australian Mining revealed a series of four safety incidents which occurred at Solomon Hub last week.

One worker was involved in a forklift accident which led to the employee being airlifted off site for medical treatment, whilst other accidents at the site last week included two separate water truck roll overs, and three drillers being left in the blast exclusion zone as a blast was fired off, according to unnamed sources close to the mine.

When contacted regarding these incidents, Fortescue at the time refused to comment on “gossip”.

When the West Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum were contacted it confirmed it had been notified of all four incidents, adding that investigations are underway.

FMG’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.

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.

Speaking out about public comments regarding safety on its sites, such as those that have appeared on Australian Mining, Power said: “Recent serious incidents at Christmas Creek are totally unacceptable to all of us, and our thoughts and prayers are with those dealing with the pain of loss and serious injury. Fortescue is working with the authorities and is conducting its own investigations into the causes of these incidents. We want to ensure they never happen again.”

He went on to say: “I would like to make it absolutely clear that no one on a Fortescue site is ever expected to do anything that compromises safety”.

“Our culture empowers everyone to take whatever action is required to ensure safe operation, including stopping production when necessary,” Power said.

“We are working to ensure our systems are as effective as possible in keeping people safe and that each of the 10,000 people working for and with Fortescue understand that the health and safety of our people is our highest priority.”

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