BHP fined for workplace injury

Staff ReportersNorth West Telegraph
BHP have been fined $50,000 for failing to disclose a damaged road that led to a road train driver sustaining a back injury.
Camera IconBHP have been fined $50,000 for failing to disclose a damaged road that led to a road train driver sustaining a back injury. Credit: The West Australian, Lincoln Baker/The West Australian.

Mining giant BHP has been fined $50,000 after failing to disclose a damaged road that led to a road train driver sustaining a back injury.

Ron Addison was driving a triple road train in January 2016, delivering a load of fuel from the Linfox depot in Port Hedland to BHP’s Yandi mine site when he approached a steep hill climb to the site.

Perth Magistrates’ Court heard the unsealed access road had been flooded by rain in the days before the incident, causing significant damage with potholes and mounds of dirt across the surface.

Mr Addison, who was unaware of the extent of the damage, maintained a speed of 50-60km/h the impact of the steep hill climb caused the prime mover to bounce, resulting in his back injury.

An investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety found there were no warnings put in place by BHP and the incident could have been much more serious.

DMIRS Mines safety director, Andrew Chaplyn said it was evident the hazards on the damaged road could have put Mr Addison at risk of losing control, jack-knifing or rolling the trailers.

”Ensuring safety measures were enforced for mine access roads could have prevented the incident,” he said.

“Clear signage, cones or barriers should have been in place warning of the hazard to alert road train drivers, and drivers should have been allowed to use an existing alternative safe route.”

The access road has not been used by trucks for deliveries to the Yandi site since the incident.

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