Newcrest has defended the safety at its Cadia Valley Operation after revelations of two serious vehicle collisions within 12 months.
Central Western Daily reports it has been contacted by an employee concerned over safety at the site after a collision between a light vehicle and a loader.
A safety alert was issued last month after a collision between a light vehicle and a loader at Ridgeway last year, however there has been no alert after a second incident at Cadia East in October.
“Someone could have easily been killed.” the unnamed employee told the paper.
He said NSW Trade and Investment and CVO had a duty to issue a safety alert after the latest collision and claims a lack of transparency was putting workers’ lives at risk.
CVO said both safety incidents were reported to the NSW mines safety inspector, while Newcrest also conducted its own investigation.
CVO general manager Tony McPaul said worker safety was the top priority and no one was seriously injured in either collision.
“These incidents have provided us with a valuable opportunity to re-evaluate some of our systems and build a more robust defence against further similar accidents,” McPaul said.
A report by the NSW Trade and Investment mine safety department was described as “scathing” by the employee.
Of the collision at Ridgeway, it said the light vehicle driver made no attempt to contact the loader driver and found the rotating beacon light on the vehicle was not working.
It also found the “bogging-in-process” warning light was not in use and the passenger of the light vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt.
The two people managed to escape the crash with minor injuries.
A NSW Trade and Investment spokesperson defended the department’s decision to not issue a second safety alert, stating warnings were not issued for every reported incident at mine sites.
“NSW Trade and Investment issues a safety alert following the occurrence of an event such as a fatal accident, dangerous occurrence and an incident which is considered to be of significance to the industry,” the spokesperson said.
“All mining-defined incidents reportable to the Department of Trade and Investment are investigated according to an internal protocol.
“It considers the risk factors associated with the event, the inspection and compliance history of the mine and the frequency of similar events within the mining industry as a whole.”
Image: Central Western Daily