Westdrill Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Mines Safety and Inspection Regulations 1995 and has been fined $5000 for each charge in Perth Magistrates Court.
The charges followed an investigation by WA’s Department of Mines and Petroleum into an incident at Mineral Resources’ iron valley mine in the Pilbara.
On 4 February 2015 a mobile manufacturing unit (MMU) truck was being driven down a ramp at the mine when the operator lost full control of the vehicle and was unable to slow the vehicle down by using the brakes.
The operator steered the MMU into a windrow to slow the vehicle down. No one was injured and no damage was caused.
The department’s investigation found the driver was a trainee MMU operator and had not been verified as competent to operate the MMU without supervision.
It also found that repairs were performed on the braking system of the MMU on 2 January 2015 by a worker who was not qualified to undertake those repairs.
It was critical that employers ensure workers are qualified and competent to carry out the tasks they are required to perform, said WA director mines safety Andrew Chaplyn.
“In this case no one was harmed, but the potential consequences could have been severe,” Chaplyn said.
“Ensuring you have a qualified and competent workforce is a critical component of having a safe mining operation.”