Nifty Copper fined over rock fall death

Nifty Copper, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Minerals, has been fined $60,000 following the death of an underground worker at the Nifty Copper Mine last year.

The incident happened in May 2015 when Adam Hardaker, 46, was struck and killed by a 1000kg rock at the Pilbara mine.

Hardaker, a load haul dump (bogger) operator, has been working underground to clear ore that had been blasted in the stope. He was using a hose to spray water on the blasted rocks to remove blockages and encourage the flow of rocks to for easier removal.

This required him to work outside of his vehicle and increased his risk to rock fall hazards, the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) stated.

Hardaker was later found dead by his co-workers after he did not return to the surface at the end of his shift.

Following a DMP investigation the company admitted that its failure to implement a safe system of work led to his death.

DMP mines safety director and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said a number of safety measures should have been used where Hardaker was working.

“This included using one of the company’s remote control boggers in the area, the construction of a safety bund, and enforcing strict exclusion zones around the area until a safety bund was in place,” he said.

The company has since updated its safety procedures to include strict exclusion zones until safety bunds are in place.