West Australian Labor leader Eric Ripper has called for a Royal Commission into mine safety following the death of a miner in Leinster.
The miner died at BHP Billiton’s Nickel West Perseverance mine.
The accident has emphasized the need for a complete change in the current culture at mines to prevent serious tragedies such as these from occurring, Ripper said.
“This tragic death is a harsh reminder of the dangers that mine workers face on a daily basis and the need for the Barnett Government to make mine safety a priority.
“Barnett has a responsibility to increase the number of mine safety inspectors,” Ripper said
Working in the resource sector is still a risky business and a Royal Commission is the only way forward, he added.
The mine worker, 45 year old Wayne Ross of Koondoola became trapped early Sunday morning WST after his underground mining vehicle drove over a stope and fell 18 metres down a hole, trapping the miner.
Despite rescue attempts, police and mine rescue teams were unable to extricate the driver until nearly 24 hours after the incident.
Authorities were unable to say when the man died or whether he survived the initial fall.
The accident is the third such incident at the mine in the past ten months.
Operations at the nickel mine have been suspended.