18th February 2014  The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) is investigating the first mine fatality for 2014.

The fatal rockfall incident occurred at Central Norseman Gold’s underground Harlequin mine early in the morning on Saturday 15th February 2014.

State Mining Engineer Simon Ridge extended condolences to the 59 year-old man’s family.

“The DMP investigations team is working to determine what happened in this incident,” he said.

“As an agency, we want to provide answers to the workers family, and share lessons learned so the industry can act to prevent a similar incident from happening again.”

Mr Ridge said the incident was the fourth in WA’s mining sector since the State experienced more than a year without a mine death during 2012-13.

Mr Ridge said this incident served as another stark reminder there is always a risk when working in a high-energy environment.

To eliminate hazards or reduce risk, there must be effective controls, and adequate training and safety procedures and both supervisors and workers must remain vigilant.

“The department is constantly working with mine operators to ensure resilient safety cultures and best practice standards are adopted and maintained as we journey together along the road to zero harm,” he said.

“Any incident is of concern and mine operators across WA’s resources sector should always be looking to maintain and improve safety outcomes,” Mr Ridge said.

The Harlequin mine is located approximately 200 km south of Kalgoorlie and is operated by Central Norseman Gold.

“Operations have been stopped at the mine while the investigation is underway,” Mr Ridge said.

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