Department acknowledges Coroner’s view on Roa Mine fatality
27 April 2007
The Department of Labour said today it was pleased to note that the Coroner had accepted its investigation report into the death of a Greymouth man at Roa mine last September.
“This was a tragic event, and we again extend our deepest sympathy to the victim’s relatives,” said Sheila McBreen-Kerr, Regional Manager Southern.
“The Coroner’s position confirmed the soundness of our findings. We hope the results of the investigation and the inquest will help the family in dealing with their loss.”
Ms McBreen-Kerr said that this case will also help raise awareness of some of the hazards workers are exposed to in the mining industry.
“While in this particular situation, the event could not have been predicted, and we deemed the company was not responsible, in most cases workplace injuries and deaths are preventable. In particularly hazardous industries like mining, good health and safety practices are crucial. People’s lives depend on them.”
“Since the miner’s death last year, the Roa mine has introduced new technology that takes the miners further away from the coalface, thus reducing risk. The Department encourages employers to proactively look for solutions such as these that reduce employees’ exposure to hazards,” said Ms McBreen-Kerr.
She said the Department will continue to work with the mining industry to look at how hazards can be better identified and managed, and risks reduced.
“It is the responsibility of employers to make sure that their workers are able to work safely. And we all benefit because a healthy and safe workplace is a productive workplace.”
To the journalist: please note that health and safety services formerly referred to as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) should now be referred to as the Department of Labour.