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WA mining community mourns another death; union calls for reform 

October 14, 2022

The Western Mine Workers Alliance is today mourning the death of another WA worker – the second death in three days and the fourth in the past 14 months.

The worker died at a mine site in Western Australia’s Pilbara, just two days after a fatality at an underground mine in the Goldfields region.

The WMWA is an alliance of Australia’s two biggest mining unions – the Australian Workers’ Union and the Mining and Energy Union. It represents several thousand members in WA.

AWU WA Secretary and WMWA spokesperson Brad Gandy said the union was grieving for the worker and offered condolences to his family and community.

“Every worker should be able to go to work knowing they are safe and will come home. Our thoughts are with the families and workmates of the deceased workers,” Mr Gandy said.

“While we are deeply, deeply saddened by this death we cannot honestly say we are surprised, because recent history has taught us that our industry is not taking safety as seriously as it should.

“Today is a day for mourning. But we cannot and should not hide from the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with the safety culture created by the management of our mining industry. Things need to change – the culture needs to change.

“If mining companies can’t provide safe workplaces the regulator needs to step up and become more proactive — and not reactive. If it does not more families will suffer through more tragedies.

“In the meantime the WMWA will keep fighting and the safety of our members will always be our number one priority. The AWU has organisers in the goldfields assisting with that investigation today and the WMWA will be sending our Pilbara organisers to assist with yesterday’s tragedy.

“WMWA is calling for an industry wide safety reset. It’s time to put people before profits for a change.”