Miner's death 'should not have happened'

ANGLO American's Australian boss has admitted the death of electrician Ian Downes at the Grasstree Mine "should not have happened".

His statement came after the company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe workplace.

Mr Downes died at the Grasstree Mine in December 2014 when working on an underground wall.

Anglo American and three mine managers, David Holt, Daniel John Proffitt and Gareth John Jones, were charged with breaching their workplace safety obligations leading to Mr Downes's death.

The company pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday. But charges against Mr Holt, Mr Proffitt and Mr Jones were dropped after negotiations.

Anglo American country head David Diamond said Mr Downes's death should not have happened. Mr Diamond said he was committed to ensuring workers were not put at risk on his watch.

"Today in the Brisbane Industrial Magistrates Court, the company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe workplace at Grasstree Mine in relation to the death of Mr Downes," he said.

"I, on behalf of the company, offer our sincere condolences to Mr Downes's family. This loss of life should not have happened and we are absolutely committed to ensuring such an event never occurs again at any of our operations.

"We have made significant changes to the way we operate since this tragic event. Through our Elimination of Fatalities Program and critical control work, we are absolutely committed to delivering safe work places for all."

The sentence against the company is expected to be delivered in Brisbane on Thursday.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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