Miners sacked over Harlem Shake dance

Fifteen mine workers have been sacked for doing the Harlem Shake dance while working underground.

The workers at the Agnew gold mine in WA were told they had breached safety regulations and undermined Barminco’s reputation.

A dismissal letter sent to the workers also stated the men were banned for life from working at any of its projects.

According to the Herald Sun an unnamed man who participated in the stunt said the group did not endanger safety because they abided by requirements for helmets, portable oxygen and other measures.

The sacked worker said employees wore helmets, cap lamps, glasses and rescue devices during the dance to ensure they met workplace safety rules.

The man said some of the dumped miners had been with the company for eight years and were devastated at losing their jobs.

"It was 2.30 in the morning and we thought we just had to do something to get us going again," one unnamed worker said.

"Sometimes you lose a bit of momentum at that time of the morning."

However the man did concede they had broken the rules by taking their long sleeved shirts off during the dance.

A clip of the men doing the dance was posted on YouTube last week, with the miners sacked after the video went viral.


The incident has been met with mixed results on social media.

Deano Wombat Worsley said:

"It seems trivial but anything that can be conceived as a breach on safety is not gonna be allowed to be tolerated."

While others were more forgiving:

Twiiter user kalolaine fifita said:

"Really…miners getin sacked 4 doing da harlem shake?? Barmincomanagement-pull ur heads out ur asses n get a life…its called FUN."

Premier Colin Barnett weighed into the debate, saying there was no room for skylarking at mine sites.

This is not the first time a social media craze has cost mine workers their jobs.

Two workers were fired in 2011 for planking on top of a plant’s smokestacks, 60 metres off the ground.

The discovery of photographs of the stunt at Santos in Whyalla was deemed extremely dangerous by the company and the two were sacked immediately.

Image: thewestaustralian.com

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