Westdrill fined $10k after truck incident at Pilbara mine

Drill and blast services company Westdrill has been fined $10,000 in Perth Magistrates Court for two mine safety breaches at Mineral Resources’ Iron Valley mine in the Pilbara.

The incident happened in February 2015 when a worker driving a Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU) truck down a ramp lost full control of the vehicle and was unable to slow down using the brakes. The driver then steered the truck into a window to slow it down.

No one sustained any injuries and no damage was caused.

An investigation by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum found the driver was a trainee MMU operator and was not verified as being competent to use the truck without supervision.

The investigation also found that repairs made on the the truck’s braking system in January 2015 where done by a worker not qualified to make the repairs.

Westdrill pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 and was fined $5000 for each charge.

DMP director of mines safety Andrew Chaplyn said employers must ensure workers are qualified and competent to conduct the tasks they are instructed to do.

“In this case no one was harmed, but the potential consequences could have been severe,” he said.