Photo: Boilermaker Lindsay Bridges died at the Central Norseman gold mine in 2016.
The owners of a mothballed Western Australian gold mining operation where three workers were killed in a six-year span have been fined $150,000 over the most recent death in 2016.
Central Norseman Gold Corporation, which is controlled by mining magnate Kevin Maloney’s Tulla Resources Group, was sentenced in the Kalgoorlie Magistrate’s Court on Friday over the death of 60-year-old Lindsay Bridges.
The boilermaker was fatally crushed on July 26, 2016, when a corroded gantry bridge collapsed on him while he was working beneath it at the Norseman gold mill.
Mr Bridges had been tasked with removing a large pipe known as a rake shaft that was designed to hang from the bridge.
However, the bridge structure had been corroded to such an extent that the bridge was being supported by the rake shaft, and it collapsed as Mr Bridges was attempting to remove the pipe.
Mr Bridges died while being transported to hospital.
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety director Andrew Chaplyn said the incident could have been prevented.
“Central Norseman Gold Corporation was aware that its processing plant was old and was in generally poor condition,” Mr Chaplyn said.
“If they had implemented, maintained and enforced an appropriate system of work, or a structural integrity review, a thorough condition assessment of the bridge would have been undertaken before Mr Bridges was tasked with removing the rake shaft.
“The condition assessment would have determined that the bridge’s bottom truss chords had corroded and fractured, and there was a risk the bridge was in danger of sudden collapse if the rake shaft was removed.
“This tragic consequence of the company’s lack of attention to an issue, which should have been identified, highlights the need for vigilance by management in ensuring that safety protocols are strictly observed.”
Source: ABC, 26 July 2019