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Company fined over WA mine worker death

AAP logoAAP 30/09/2016

A company has been fined $110,000 over the death of a worker at a mine in Western Australia's East Pilbara region.

Heavy duty mechanic Philip Kitching was carrying out maintenance work on a bulldozer at the Woodie Woodie manganese mine when he was crushed by the machine's belly plate on January 20 last year.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum found the dozer had modifications, damage and missing parts that contributed to the incident.

The belly plate was designed to be secured by 13 bolts, but there were only five, only one of which was the correct type specified by the original equipment manufacturer.

The underside of the dozer was heavily caked in mud, which would have obscured the missing and non-standard bolts, and also hid damage to a hinge plate, which would normally offer protection if the belly plate was accidentally released.

Mines safety director and state mining engineer Andrew Chaplyn said Mr Kitching's employer XOW Nominees Pty Ltd, which trades as Rod Mitchell's Transport and Exploration Services, had no record or report of the damage or modifications to the dozer.

"A lack of adequate supervision and failure to conduct a formal risk assessment for the job also contributed to this incident," Mr Chaplyn said.

The company was charged with failing to provide a safe working environment and fined $110,000 in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday.

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