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Mining company fined for worker’s death

A mining company in New Zealand has been sentenced following the death of a worker in July 2016.

The company’s representatives arrived in Tauranga District Court for sentencing in March and a decision was released this week. A fine of $378,000 was imposed, with reparations of $350,000.

The victim was driving an earthmoving machine underground when it fell 15 metres off a vertical edge.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation found that the company had failed to develop and implement a safe system of work for the creation of 1.5 metre high bunds above vertical slopes.

The company identified the risk and the solution of bunds to reduce the risk of an incident happening, but did not effectively mitigate the risks involved in implementing that solution.

“Health and safety law requires every business to manage risks to workers. It’s a non-negotiable requirement and this case has highlighted that the requirement extends to the risks inherent in the actions taken to mitigate known risks,” said WorkSafe’s Acting General Manager High Hazards and Energy Safety, Craig Marriott.

Following the incident, the company developed a non-industry standard procedure for placing steel bollards along open slopes, to stop an incident like this from happening again.

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