SafetyNet 471, January 23, 2019
Welcome to the first edition of SafetyNet for 2019.
Unfortunately it has been a tragic start to the year, with four fatalities in Victoria already. No worker should lose their life at work.
The entire OHS team at the VTHC is now back from leave, and we have a number of activities coming up which we hope Victorian HSRs will participate in. See details below. While several employers were prosecuted at the end of 2018 for worker fatalities (see Prosecutions, below), no fine can make up for the death of a worker.
As always, we welcome any comments - good or bad - or if you have a news story you would like published, tell us by sending an email here. (Please don't 'reply' to your email).
Remember: To keep up to date and informed between editions of SafetyNet, go to our We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page, and for those who are HSRs and/or passionate about health and safety, join the OHS Network page, a safe place to raise and discuss issues: check it out and ask to join.
Tragic start to 2019
There have been four fatalities in Victoria, and we are not even at the end of the first month. The VTHC expresses our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and work colleagues..
On January 2, in an unspeakable tragedy, a two year old boy was killed in an incident involving a tractor on a farm in Naringal. It is believed a spreader attachment was being removed from the tractor in a machine shed when the incident occurred. The child died at the scene. WorkSafe is investigating.
In the second week of January, a 63-year-old man died in hospital from the injuries he sustained in an incident involving a scissor lift at a Derrimut warehouse on December 22. According to WorkSafe, it is believed the man was servicing an overhead gantry crane from the platform of the extended scissor lift when it was struck by the moving crane, causing it to roll over. WorkSafe is investigating.
On the morning of January 15 an Australian Army soldier died during a training drill at an army base at Puckapunyal, in Victoria's north. It appears that the soldier collapsed during a routine training activity. The temperature in Puckapunyal that day reached 35 degrees. A defence spokesperson said Australian Defence Department officers tried to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived on scene. Read more: Northern Star. (Note: while the soldier died in Victoria, as a member of the ADF, his death will not be included in Victoria's official workplace fatality statistics)
On January 16, a 19-year-old worker was been killed in an incident at a home in Melbourne's outer-west yesterday evening. The young man was electrocuted while installing an air conditioner n the roof of a two storey dwelling in Plumpton. WorkSafe is investigating.
SafetyNet - Special Christmas Edition
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the fabulous Special SafetyNet Christmas Edition did not get posted out to subscribers as intended. The special edition looked back on five of the biggest OHS stories of the 2018 year. Take a look now, you won't be sorry! SafetyNet Special Christmas Edition
VTHC 2019 Kick Off
2018 was a huge year for the OHS Network, and 2019 will surely be no different. We put in a lot of work last year on campaigns around Industrial Manslaughter, silica and growing our network's ability to assist HSRs in their workplaces.
As you all know, however, the work of OHS is never complete.
Come along to our 2019 Kick Off to hear what's in store, and let us know what's important to you in 2019!
When: Thursday January 31, 2019 at 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: Meeting Room 1, Victorian Trades Hall Council
More information: Luke Bowman email@example.com 0422431166
I work in the kitchen of a Victorian regional hospital. What are the guidelines for working when the temperatures reach over 35 degrees (and even over 40 degrees)? There is no air conditioning in all sections of the kitchen - for example where the meals are prepared and dished out, or in the washing up area. There are fan, but these do little more than blow hot air around. Management recently informed us that our air cooler would not be replaced unless it broke, as there is to be a new kitchen built in the future - but this could be years away! I would like to know whether in the meantime we have to suffer in these very uncomfortable conditions?
It makes me very cross when I hear how uncaring and unreasonable some employers are!
The OHS Act and regulations don't specify maximum temperatures, but employers have a general duty of care to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health – and this includes the workplace, ensuring the 'plant' (eg air conditioners, coolers) are properly maintained, and much more. Further, the employer must monitor the conditions at the workplace (like temperatures) and the health of workers (see Duties of employers: http://www.ohsrep.org.au/law-rights/ohs-legislation/the-ohs-act/duties-of-employers). While this is general, there is the Compliance Code which sets out in more detail what this means and what employers need to do in order to comply.
Because this is a common question we have an FAQ on it. Check it out and also go to the longer page on Heat – the link is at the bottom of the FAQ page.
Please send any OHS related queries in to Ask Renata - your query will be responded to as quickly as we can – usually within a couple of days.
Nurses' Union successful s131 request leads to prosecution
The Victorian Branch of the ANMF (Nurses and Midwifery Federation) have long been waging a campaign against violence and aggression their members face. Last year, it formally requested, through s131 of the OHS Act, that WorkSafe bring a prosecution against Alfred Health over a December 2015 incident in which a nurse was physically assaulted (hair pulled, pushed, punched, head butted and kneed in the face) by a patient whose behaviour was known to be affected by severe autism and intellectual disability. Section 131 of the Act allows a person to request that WorkSafe prosecute in circumstances where no prosecution has been brought. The request resulted in Alfred Health pleading guilty to breaching s21 of the Actt, and being fined $25,000 - but without conviction.
The Moorabbin Magistrates court heard that on December 6, 2015 a nurse was attending to the patient when she was physically assaulted by that patient. The assault followed three previous incidents in which staff were assaulted by the same patient. Alfred Health has since amended its procedures for dealing with occupational violence and aggression, including the adoption of a uniform policy across all its hospitals.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said employers must do everything they can to prevent and manage the risk of occupational violence and aggression in the workplace. "Abuse and assault cause both physical and mental injuries that can alter the lives of workers and their loved ones forever," Ms Nielsen said. "It is never okay for employees to be assaulted or abused at work, and workplaces must ensure they have strong systems and processes in place to limit that risk."
Read more: WorkSafe Media Release
AMWU unhappy with Fortescue Metals asbestos removal
The AMWU has criticised Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) over the removal of white asbestos (contained in friction wear plates in train bogies) found in 3384 rail wagons imported from China.
According to 2017 reports, FMG identified that chrysotile asbestos was located in the train bogies and reported it to the regulator. WorkSafe WA immediately issued an improvement notice to FMG in September 2017 providing a period of two years to remove and dispose of the asbestos-containing material.
Media reports indicated the Australian Manufacturing Worker's Union assistant state secretary Glenn McLaren this week visited FMG's Thomas rail yard near Port Hedland where the asbestos removal work is being done. Mr McLaren said the work had started recently and about four cars per day were being completed. "They're only cracking on a year after the improvement notice was issued," he said.
FMG Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said FMG had been testing potential replacement parts since it discovered the problem. "Since October (2018), 958 of the 3384 cars impacted have had their parts safely changed," she said and said the company was on track to complete the work by the regulators' September 2019 deadline.
The AMWU claims that the procedures used by FMG are inadequate to protect workers outside of the asbestos removal area. Mr McLaren said the asbestos removal workers had inadequate decontamination facilities, claiming that workers were hosing themselves down at the end of a shift with a hand pumped water spray as used by gardeners. The AMWU is concerned that other workers in the vicinity of the project could be exposed to asbestos fibre and confirmed that the bunded zone to separate the asbestos work areas "is two witches hats with a bit of tape over it. There has been no worker surveillance or health monitoring," the union claimed. Source: Australasian Mine Safety Journal
International Union news
UK: Diesel industry and regulators condemn thousands to die
A warning over 30 years ago that workplace diesel fume exposures were deadly went ignored, a 'criminal' move that condemned thousands of workers each year to an early grave, a report in Hazards magazine has revealed. It says if the authorities had listened when the workers' health magazine first raised the alarm in 1986, "today's diesel exhaust driven public health catastrophe could have been averted." The report notes that diesel exhaust fumes cause, in the UK's Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) estimation, 652 deaths a year from lung and bladder cancer. Exposure is also linked to respiratory disease, heart problems and other chronic and acute health effects.
But the Hazards report says "the UK's prevention strategy – or absence of one – is based on a fatal mixture of a lack of the right intelligence and lack of give-a-damn. All topped up with a dose of industry foul play." The report identifies industry-financed groups commissioned to produce reports to cast doubt in the minds of regulators discussing tighter controls and warnings about diesel fume health risks, a process it says is ongoing. Citing international studies, the Hazards report notes that the real UK diesel-related occupational lung cancer toll could be over 1,700 deaths per year, more than 1,000 more deaths each year than the official HSE estimate. It concludes: "If you under-estimate the size of the problem, you don't respond appropriately. Diesel exhaust fume is not treated like a cancer-causing exposure in UK safety law, despite the official recognition it is one of the top occupational cancer killers. There's not even an official occupational exposure limit."
A forthcoming EU-wide limit is 2.5 times higher than standard recommended two years ago by its own experts, notes Hazards. "The evidence didn't change in the intervening period. But the industry lobbyists took their chance and governments listened." An October 2018 TUC guide highlighted successful union initiatives to reduce risks in the workplace from the 'workplace killer' diesel exhaust fumes.
Read more: Fuming feature, Diesel out prevention factsheet and Die diesel die pin-up-at-work poster. Hazards 144, October-December 2018. Diesel exhaust in the workplace: A TUC guide for trade union activists [pdf], October 2018. Source: Risks 880
USA: Nappy-wearing protesters win bathroom breaks
When campaigners showed up outside a Texas poultry plant in October 2018 their attire, at least for most adults, was unusual. The group protesting outside the Sanderson Farms poultry processing plant in Bryan were all wearing adult diapers [nappies] over their trousers. It made a great visual, and the television news crew covering the protest made sure diapers appeared in nearly every frame. "In my opinion, the protest worked, because there were changes," said one worker who gave up his job at the plant after being refused a bathroom break. He said his wife, who still works at the plant, told him and the leaders of the protest organised by the Centro de Derechos Laborales (CDL) that "before they were in hell; now they are in paradise." Workers had complained that they weren't given permission to go to the bathroom, a particular hardship for people with health conditions or for pregnant women. If workers left to go to the bathroom, chickens would fall on the floor or the production line would have to stop. The company wasn't employing enough workers to step in so their co-workers could use the restroom. There were other issues as well: Better protection from the chemicals used to clean the chickens and an end to sexual harassment. The protest mirrors those at other poultry plants around the nation, part of a national campaign to improve conditions for workers in poultry plants. The leaders of CDL, which organised the protest, said the new bathroom permissions and the company's willingness to pay for more protective equipment - the workers used to have to buy their own if initial company-issued aprons and gloves tore - will be monitored by worker committees.
Read more: The Pump Handle blog.
Protective gear not protective for pesticide workers
Studies of pesticide use in horticultural workers have found they can be exposed to the chemicals by both skin contact and ingestion despite wearing protective gear, with colleagues and the public also at risk. A study published online in January in the journal Annals of Work Exposures and Health and conducted by NUI Galway in Ireland, the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) and the UK's Health and Safety Executive, looked at exposures to glyphosate, a herbicide used to control the growth of weeds and invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed.
The researchers looked at skin contamination and levels of the chemical in urine, concluding: "The results show dermal to be a prominent route of exposure but support inadvertent ingestion potential contribution to the total body burden among this worker group. This study also identified a potential for the spread of contamination among non-pesticide users in the workforce and para-occupational exposures."
Findings by the same authors published last year also reported horticultural workers were exposed to low levels of glyphosate despite wearing protective equipment. They said the study of the chemical in the workers' urine highlighted the importance of using personal protective equipment when applying pesticides and disposing of, or thoroughly cleaning, equipment after use. They said workers must also be wary of how they put on and remove protective equipment to avoid contamination to their clothing, mobile phones or vehicle steering wheels.
Glyphosate was given a 'probable human carcinogen' designation by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015. Moves to end its registration in the European Union were controversially rejected in 2017, after what some observers said reflected regulators responding to industry pressure and industry-influenced studies.
Read more: Alison Connolly and others. Evaluating glyphosate exposure routes and their contribution to total body burden: A study among amenity horticulturalists, [Full article] Annals of Work Exposures and Health, wxy104, published online 4 January 2019. Also see: Alison Connolly and others. Exploring the half-life of glyphosate in human urine samples [Abstract] International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, published ahead of print, October 2018. Personnel Today. Source: Risks 881
OHS Regulator News
Company charged over trench collapse deaths
A civil construction company has been charged by WorkSafe Victoria following the death of two workers after a trench collapsed in Ballarat in March 2018.
The men were laying pipe at the Winterfield Estate housing development in the Ballarat suburb of Delacombe on March 21 when the trench collapsed. A 34-year-old died at the scene and a 21-year-old died in hospital the following day.
Following a comprehensive investigation by WorkSafe, Ballarat company Pipecon Pty Ltd was charged with two breaches of section 21of the Occupational Health and Safety Act:
- Failing to maintain battering or benching of the excavation and to use trench shields and manhole cages to protect the workers from the risk of engulfment; and
- Failing to provide supervision to ensure its employees did not perform work in the trench without battering, benching, trench shields or manhole cages.
The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on 4 February 2019. Source: WorkSafe Media Release
WorkSafe issues heat warning
On January 15, WorkSafe issued a warning urging employers in the north of the state to plan ahead to protect workers in last week's prolonged extreme heat.
WorkSafe's Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said employers needed to ensure tasks were managed safely. "Working in hot conditions can easily result in workers becoming dehydrated and suffering heat stress. Serious cases of heat stress can result in serious brain injury and organ failure, so the risks should never be underestimated," Ms Nielsen said. "It's important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload. Some work may need to be rescheduled or modified to reduce exposure to the heat. It could be a simple plan to start and finish the day earlier."
Ms Nielsen said employers also needed to consider the impact of heat on workers performing indoor tasks.
"The temperature in a roof space, or next to a metal wall can be significantly higher than an outdoor area, which mean workers can face an even greater risk of heat stress and fatigue," Ms Nielsen said. "Fatigue can result in exceptionally dangerous situations, particularly when people are operating machinery or vehicles, or driving home after work."
However, temperatures in Melbourne have and are again expected to reach the high 30s and even into the 40s (predicted for this Friday). Employers need to implement controls to reduce the risks to workers irrespective of which part of the state they work.
Read more: WorkSafe's Media Release; FAQ: When is it too hot?; Hazard information page on Heat.
Plan to remove chemical stockpiles
A multi-agency taskforce led by WorkSafe is continuing detailed planning and preliminary work for the removal of chemicals stockpiled at eight sites in Epping and Campbellfield.
WorkSafe has estimated that between 1 million and 1.5 million litres of liquids containing hazardous chemicals are being stored in bulk containers and drums at the sites. Preliminary information obtained indicates the presence of chemicals including methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which is used in industrial solvents. Water-based automotive and house paints, aerosol cans and LPG cylinders are also present at the sites.
Work to create safe access into each site was continuing. Measures implemented include air monitoring inside and outside the properties: increased fire prevention measures and 24 hour security at each site.
WorkSafe will use powers under Dangerous Goods legislation to lead to a joint-agency operation to remove the large quantities of chemicals. The taskforce includes representatives from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), fire authorities, local councils and government agencies.
Read more: WorkSafe Media Release
Safe Work Australia News
Working in heat materialsSafe Work Australia has released a number of resources covering working in heat, warning that this is not just a problem for outdoor workers. Check these out:
- Working in Heat Media Statement
- Working in Heat: physically demanding work video
- Working in Heat: safe design video
- Working in Heat: risk management video
- Working in Heat: Not just an outdoor problem video
As of the 20 December 2018, 118 fatalities had been reported by the state authorities to Safe Work Australia. This was three more than the previous update. The workers killed have come from the following industries:
- 38 Transport, postal & warehousing
- 33 Agriculture, forestry & fishing
- 21 Construction
- 8 Manufacturing
- 5 Mining
- 3 Electricity, gas, water & waste services
- 4 Public administration & safety
- 2 Wholesale trade
- 2 Arts and recreation services
- 1 Administrative and support services
- 1 Rental, hiring and real estate
To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage).
As there had been no updates to the WorkSafe site before our last edition in December, a relatively large number of prosecution summaries have appeared on the site over the past two months. We have reported on just the major ones, so to check all of the recent prosecutions, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.
Scrap yard owner sentenced to gaol over death
In a highly significant case, scrap yard owner, Maria Jackson, was in December last year sentenced to six months gaol over the death of an employee at Foster, in South Gippsland, in February 2017. The worker, was killed when the forklift she was operating dropped an industrial bin on him.
Jackson pleaded guilty to breaching sections 24 and 32 of the OHS Act (failing to ensure other people in the workplace were not exposed to risks to their health, and recklessly engaging in conduct that placed others at the workplace in danger of serious injury). She was convicted, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $7336 in costs in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court - but lodged an appeal against the sentence and was granted bail to appear before the court at a later date.
The worker, who was in his 50s, was inside the bin removing scrap steel when Jackson lifted it with a forklift. The bottom of the bin gave way, causing the worker to fall through. The bin and steel then fell on him. WorkSafe found that the bin was in very poor condition and that Ms Jackson had never been licensed to operate a forklift.
Editor's note: As far as I am aware, this is the first time that a prosecution of an employer under s32 of the Act - 'Duty not to recklessly endanger' - has resulted in a gaol sentence.
Read more: WorkSafe Media Release
Second historic Patricks s76 prosecution
Successful prosecutions of employers for breaching Section 76 of the OHS Act (Prohibition on discrimination) are few and far between - too often employers put undue pressure, threaten and even sack health and safety reps for just doing what they were elected to do. Too often these employers get away with this behaviour.
In another hugely important December prosecution, Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd ('Patricks') was convicted and fined a total of $475,000 for breaching s76 in a series of incidents dating back to 2009.
In 2009 Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd operated the Westernport port in Hastings. At the end of February 2009 a client delivered to a warehouse at the Westernport site about 800 steel coils of varying weights - 73 were heavy, wide and high.
On March a ship arrived at the Westernport site to load the steel coils. One of the tasks of the stevedores was to load the coils onto this vessel - work which commenced on Tuesday 10 March.The afternoon and evening shifts loaded the lighter coils onto the vessels, but the stevedores were concerned that lifting some of the heavier coils would exceed the safe working load ("SWL") of the forklift designated for the task. The shift team leader contacted the Port Manager (interstate at the time) to advise that the forklift could not safely be used for this task. The Manager responded that the team leader should "fix it". However the team leader unsuccessfully tried to locate a suitable forklift.
On 11 March, after being told that another forklift could not be found, the Manager proposed an alternative method for loading the heavier steel coils (the two bite method). Both the team leader and the elected HSR considered this method and determined that it was unsafe and that the forklift's SWL would still be exceeded.
When the Manager returned to Melbourne that night, he telephoned the night shift team leader and was told that the stevedores believed that his method was unsafe.
The Manager became irate and started yelling. His responses included:
- intimating he had been with people who know more about safety than the stevedores at the Westernport site
- saying he had had enough of the HSR and that he and others had better watch their jobs.
- telling them to make it clear to everybody that their jobs were on the line.
- suggesting, in relation to another team leader, that if he complained any further his employment would be terminated.
- saying to the HSR that he was going to 'get' him, that he would sit up all night if he had to, and that the team leader had better tell everyone that he, the Manager, did not care if he had to sack one, five, ten or twenty workers, that heads were going to roll and that he was going to straighten the place out.
The team leader asked the Manager if he wanted his comments passed on and the Manager made it clear that he did.
The next day (March 12) the coils could not be loaded due to rain. While the morning crew stood by, four on them, including the HSR, sought to resolve the forklift issue with the Manager, and requested another forklift, maintaining there was a safety issue with using the designated forklift to load the heavier coils.
However the Manager insisted they use his method. They disagreed and suggested tasking WorkSafe to make a determination about this issue. At this point the Manager then effectively told them that Patrick Stevedores had a "reform list" they would not want find themselves on.
After the meeting the HSR called WorkSafe regarding the forklift issue and the threats.
Later that afternoon the Manager approached two of the four employees who were at the morning meeting and withdrew the suggestion that there was a "list".
On 13 March, two WorkSafe inspectors attended the Westernport site. A trial was conducted with the forklift in question to test the Manager's proposed method and determined it was unsuitable. The Manager was able shortly after to locate a suitable forklift.
The Manager acknowledged to one of the inspectors that he'd made a comment about a "list" - but that he's later advised them there was no "list" after a complaint had been made by the Union to his manager concerning the comment.
Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd was found guilty on six counts, convicted and sentenced to pay a total of $475,000. Note: NO costs were awarded.
Editor's note: Ironically, the only other significant prosecution of an employer for breaching s76 of the Act was in 2011, when Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd (another subsidiary) was convicted and fined $180,000 over discrimination of an HSR at Geelong Port in 2007!
Quarry operator fined $230k for worker fatality
Quarry operator Keilor-Melton Quarries Pty Ltd was in December convicted and fined $230,000 after a dump truck driver was killed when his vehicle rolled on a stockpile in May, 2016. The company was sentenced after it was earlier found guilty of contravening section 26 of the OHS Act, by failing to ensure the workplace was safe and without risks to health and safety
The Melbourne Country Court heard the driver, a man in his 60s, was killed when the dump truck he was driving flipped over the edge of a stockpile at the Plumpton quarry and slid down the other side. The driver, a sub-contractor, was moving material up an earthen ramp to dump near the top of the stockpile when the incident occurred.
WorkSafe's investigation found that Keilor-Melton Quarries should have completed a risk assessment and a Safe Work Method Statement for the task. It also found the company failed to take a number of reasonably practicable steps including ensuring the perimeter of the stockpile was adequately walled and engaging a qualified engineer to assess the stability of the stockpile.
Read more: WorkSafe Media Release
Construction company fined $275k for fatality
Also in December last year, Melbourne construction company VCON Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $275,000 following the death of a painter who fell 3.46 metres through a stair void at a Mornington Peninsula building site.
The company pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to contravening section 26 of the OHS Act when it failed to ensure that the workplace was safe and without risks to health. The company was also ordered to pay $7500 in costs.
The court heard that the painter was working on the first floor when he fell through the void and landed on the tiled ground floor in February, 2017. He was taken to hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A WorkSafe investigation found a wooden handrail at the edge of the first floor void near where the painter was working had been partially dislodged from one of its clamps. Read more: WorkSafe Media Release
Editor's Note: While the VTHC welcomes the prosecution of employers for incidents in which workers are killed, these fines do not make up for the loss of these workers to their families, friends and the community.
Other prosecutions, briefly!
- Bonaccord Ingram, a vegetable production and logistics company in Walpa, supplying vegetables to large supermarkets and retailers across Australia. Fined $20,000 without conviction over a December 2017 incident in which a worker performing maintenance using an angle grinder suffered serious lacerations and a broken jaw with long term consequences. Bonaccord pleaded guilty to not providing and maintaining a system of work, not ensuring that all employees were trained in the safe operating procedure; and ensuring regular testing and inspection of angle grinders by a suitably qualified person.
- Heritage Seeds pleaded guilty to breaching s21 of the OHS Act and was without conviction fined $25,000 over an April 2017 incident in whicha worker received crush injuries to four fingers while using a seed coating machine.
- Bronson Sheet Metal Fabrications, manufacturing steel fabrication products, pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined $40,000 (plus $3,000 costs) over a September 2017 incident. An employee was injured repairing a diesel aluminum fuel tank, which he thought had been cleaned out. He used an angle grinder, then put a new patch over the hole and welded a number of tacks in place - resulting in an explosion. He was knocked back two to three metres, the tank moved about 3 metres, and a fire started inside the tank. The employee sustained burn injuries.
- West's Packaging Services Pty Ltd - a manufacturing company providing packaging to the food manufacturing industry. On 9 September 2016, an employee's hand was caught and crushed in a zipper making machine. WorkSafe's investigation found the company failed to provide and maintain plant that was safe and without risks to health. The company pleaded guilty and was without conviction fined $30,000 and costs of $3,412.
- Labour hire company BDK Labour Hire Pty Ltd fined $15,000 without conviction plus $5,335 in costs after an employee was injured while unloading 40 foot container packed with glass in wooden crates at another workplace.
China: Over 20 dead after coal mine roof collapses
At least 21 miners have been killed after a roof collapsed at a coal mine in northern China. Sixty-six other workers were rescued after the incident on 12 January at the Lijiagou mine near the city of Shenmu in Shaanxi province. The cause of the collapse at the site, run by the Baiji Mining Company, is under investigation, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Deadly mining accidents are common in China, however the number of fatalities reported in cave-ins, explosions and other disasters in Chinese coal mines has fallen sharply over the past decade. According to China's National Coal Mine Safety Administration, there were 375 deaths in coal mines in 2017, a fall of 28.7 per cent from the previous year. But despite improvements, the organisation said "the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim", following a coal mine safety conference last January. In October 2018, at least 21 people were killed at the Lognyun mine in Shandong province after a rock burst blocked a tunnel and trapped workers inside. Only one miner was recovered alive. In December, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a mine in Chongqing municipality.
Read more: The Independent Source: Risks 881