Agnew Gold Mining Company has been fined $75,000 for failing to provide a safe working environment after an incident that seriously injured three workers at a West Australian mine.
The workers were injured when 74 sheets of steel mesh that were leaning against a wall in the Gold Fields-owned company’s Waroonga underground mine fell onto them in January 2012.
Two of the workers were crushed, suffering multiple pelvic fractures, while one also suffered rib fractures and a lacerated liver.
A third worker was struck by the steel mesh when it fell, sustaining a compound fracture to his right leg.
The sheets had a combined weight of almost three tonnes.
Department of Mines and Petroleum acting mine safety director Doug Barclay said the way the mesh was stacked was contrary to the company’s own safe work procedures and counter to a 1999 recommendation by the state coroner.
The recommendation stemmed from a 1998 fatality at another Western Australian mine site involving 15 sheets of mesh that had been leaning against a wall.