Company fined $65,000 over WA mine hazard


A company has been fined $65,000 after a mine worker in Western Australia's Goldfields region narrowly escaped with his life during a site accident.

Mincor Operations was fined over the April 2015 incident at its Miitel Nickel Mine in Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court on Friday.

A surveyor in a 4WD negotiating an underground access drive accidentally reversed the rear wheels over the edge of a 19-metre deep excavation but managed to brake in time and was rescued by co-workers after radioing for help.

He had been on his way to conduct a cavity monitoring survey and planned to set up at a sign warning of an "open stope below", which he believed was up to 50 metres from the edge of the drop.

A Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety investigation found there were no safe procedures for workers conducting surveys, poor instructions on signage within single-entrance headings and no barricade at the open stope.

Mines safety director Andrew Chaplyn said a stope with a 19-metre drop was an obvious hazard.

"This could quite easily have been a fatal incident and the means to prevent it could have been implemented at relatively small cost or inconvenience to the company," he said on Friday.