New Zealand miners killed by bosses’ greed

This video is called Pike River Coal Mine Disaster New Zealand – Tribute – RIP.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Inspector cuts paved way for killer gas blast

Monday 05 November 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

Health and safety cuts and bosses’ greed were to blame for a 2010 New Zealand mine disaster that killed 29 workers, an official investigation revealed today.

Conservative Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson resigned following the release of the Royal Commission report on a string of underground explosions that entombed the miners a mile from its entrance.

Investigators issued a damning assessment of now-defunct owner Pike River Coal Ltd’s conduct in the run-up to the deaths.

Bosses had ignored dozens of warnings from workers about methane gas build-up at the pit, they said.

Miners reported explosive levels on 21 separate occasions and dangerous levels on 27 more.

Health and safety breaches were the norm at the pit, with workers rigging their equipment to bypass gas sensors designed to trip when levels were unsafe.

Investigators added that mine bosses had made a “major error” by siting a ventilation fan underground, and that using water jets to cut the coal face increased the risk of methane release.

Government cuts to health and safety budgets had left only two inspectors, allowing the mine’s owners to get an operating certificate without ever being checked.

Mining union EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell branded the report “a damning indictment of New Zealand’s deregulated health and safety regime.”

“Pike River Coal Ltd should never have been allowed to operate in the way it did, and in other countries it wouldn’t have been allowed to,” he said.

“We hope the failings exposed in this report spell the end of the deregulated health and safety regime of the last 20 years.”

Mr O’Connell urged the government to act swiftly on the commission’s recommendations, which included the establishment of a new agency to focus on workplace health and safety.

“If the 29 men who lie in the mine are not to have died in vain then these recommendations must be implemented without delay and without reservation,” he said.

Pike River Coal company is not defending itself against charges of nine labour violations.

However former chief executive Peter Whittall has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges.

New Zealand mine disaster inquiry whitewashes government: here.

A judge today ordered bankrupt New Zealand mining company Pike River Coal to pay compensation to the families of 29 miners killed in a 2010 methane explosion: here.

No justice for New Zealand mine disaster victims’ families: here.

New Zealand’s government dropped all charges yesterday against former Pike River Coal boss Peter Whittall: here.

5 thoughts on “New Zealand miners killed by bosses’ greed

  1. Pingback: Tools Today – Tool Blog» Blog ArchiveWelding health and safety » Tools Today - Tool Blog

  2. Judge convicts mining company

    NEW ZEALAND: Judge Jane Farish has convicted a coalmining company of nine health and safety violations over a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.

    Judge Farish found today that Pike River Coal had failed to ensure the safety of its workers.

    An earlier investigation found the company ignored 21 warnings that methane gas had accumulated to explosive levels in the mine, and that it was exposing miners to unacceptable risks to meet financial targets.


  3. Pingback: New Zealand general strike, 1913 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: ‘Privatisation kills Turkish miners’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: New Zealand government breaks post-mining disaster promises | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.