The death of a mineworker whose body was not found for up to four days after he died in his donga at a Rio Tinto site in the North West has prompted outrage from fly-in, fly-out workers.
Tom Price police are investigating the death of the 54-year-old truck driver from Albany, who is believed to have died from natural causes in his donga at the Brockman 4 permanent camp site late last month.
The FIFO drive-in, drive-out support group said it did not know who was to blame for the delay in finding his body but was concerned at an increasing number of mine deaths that went unnoticed for days.
In one of the worst delays, a worker at Woodside's Pluto liquefied natural gas project was found in January 2011, almost two weeks after he died in his donga at the site's Gap Ridge Village.
"It's really disturbing," group co-ordinator Kristian Italiano said yesterday. "It disgusts me to think that no one checked on this poor guy for four days."
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union accused Rio Tinto of not meeting its duty of care requirements.
Mining division secretary Gary Wood said Rio Tinto should have contacted the truck driver as soon as he failed to call in sick on the first day.
A Brockman 4 worker who would not be named said the driver was last seen at work on Friday, February 22. Management did not check his donga until the following Tuesday when he failed to show up for his flight home.
It is uncertain why cleaners did not enter his room during this period, though it is possible he had a "do not disturb" sign on his door.
Kevin Lewis, Rio Tinto's head of organisation resources, did not respond to accusations about the firm's duty of care but confirmed that a worker had died in his donga.
"A 54-year-old man from the Great Southern region died in his room at the Brockman 4 camp," Mr Lewis said in a statement."The time of death is also yet to be determined. We are assisting the appropriate authorities with their inquiries."
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.