Investigation of mining death blocked

Friday, 05 January, 2007

BHP Billiton has refused an independent occupational health and safety investigation following the death of an employee in December last year.

The miner reportedly died while carrying out diamond drilling 350 m underground at the Carrington Mine when the basket he was working in fell to the ground.

The AWU (Australian Workers' Union) wrote to BHP, requesting Dr Yossi Berger, the union's Nation OHS director, carry out a safety investigation.

In response, BHP Billiton rejected the request and said that "we do not believe that anything can be usefully added" by involving Berger.

The AWU will be meeting with the Queensland Minister for Mines and Energy to discuss the next steps in forcing BHP to look after the safety of their workers. The AWU will also be convening meetings with AWU members at the mine to further investigate suspected safety issues.

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