BHP Billiton employees need to take more responsibility for their own safety, BHP Billiton Iron Ore chief operating officer Ian Ashby told journalists in Port Hedland at the 40th anniversary of the company’s Mt. Newman mine.
“There are two messages to employees,” Ashby said.
“You are responsible for your own safety so you do need to take that on board. When you walk through the gate your contract of employment is such that there is an element of responsibility.
“Secondly, what I would like to see more of is looking after your mate; being your brother’s keeper.”
Ashby’s comments come after a number of recent deaths of BHP mine workers in Western Australia.
The company has been ordered by WA state mining engineer Martin Knee to commission an independent engineering study of its Perseverance nickel mine near Leinster after two rockfall-related safety incidents last month.
BHP was given eight weeks to complete the study and present a report.
Mining at parts of Perseverance has been halted after a prohibition notice was issued by an inspector from the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum.
Ashby said that the study is progressing well.
“We have carried out the independent engineers study as per the Mines Department request and we are progressively working our way through that,” he said.
“We have made changes to our organisation and we have ramped up certain programs.”