doing fifo financially smart
HomeMining Industry News Grieving Family Pleads for Answers Over Miners Death

Grieving Family Pleads for Answers Over Miners Death

Friday 3rd of July 2015 10:07:51 AM



Grieving family members of a contractor killed at Tasmania's Mount Lyell mine more than 18 months ago are frustrated that they still have no answers over the outcome of an investigation into his death.

Michael Welsh 53, was operating a loader for contractor Barminco when he was the victim of a mud rush in the copper mine's lower levels. His body was found by the mine's rescue team.

The events of January 17 are etched in the memory of his daughter, Tameka Sylvester.

"I heard the sirens at 8:00 on my way into work," she said.

They were coming from the mine, but it was not until three hours later that Ms Sylvester knew what was happening.

"I was told by a worker that I had to go to Mum's house and that there'd been a mine accident."

Mr Welsh's son, also Michael, remembers the day as "one big nightmare."

"I was there with Mum when we got told," he said.

Mr Welsh was a third-generation west coaster with five children and nine grandchildren.

"He was what I like to call a gentle giant. He was everything to us kids," Ms Sylvester said.

Michael Welsh said his father was an extremely hard worker who enjoyed wood cutting and fishing on his days off.

"He was a well respected guy around town, and to everyone who knew him he was a family man and always had a smile on his face," Mr Welsh said.

Mr Welsh had worked at the mine on and off for 18 years, and had been asked to clean up after several mudslides.

He did not usually work in the area where the fatal mud rush occurred.

The family has not seen Mr Welsh's autopsy results and has had little information from authorities, they have not been told the outcome of the Worksafe Tasmania inquiry.

A few months ago his wife Sandra was notified that the Director of Public Prosecutions was deciding whether any charges should be laid.

"At the end of the day I want answers as well, as much as anyone else does," Mr Welsh said.

"Why was he there (where he was killed), and should he have been there? That's the big one."

John Short from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union shares the family's frustration, especially as Copper Mines of Tasmania (CMT) has been talking about reopening the mine later this year.

Since last July the site has been under care and maintenance after a rockfall, and its owners have been looking into automated mining methods to protect workers from another mud rush.

"Obviously the investigation needs to be thorough, but I think 18 months is getting a bit long, you know — we need to get those results," Mr Short said.

"It's difficult for people to support the reopening of the mine when we don't know what happened, because if we know what happened then we can make sure it doesn't happen again, and that's crucial for the safety of those miners."

Just six weeks before the fatal mud rush, two other workers tragically died at the mine after they fell 35 metres down a shaft while carrying out maintenance work.

Their files have been handed to the DPP as well, but Mr Short said unions had not been updated on any of the Mount Lyell investigations for at least four months.

"My view is that the investigation should be expedited, and if there's going to be prosecutions, they ought to take place before the mine opens," he said.



Source

Recent Related News

Mount Lyell copper mine restart moves closer after $9 million cash injection

Tuesday 2nd of May 2017 10:58:12 AM

The Mount Lyell copper mine is moving closer to reopening, the owners say, after new government funding provides its "best chance yet". Read Full Story Here


Mount Lyell copper mine reopening is uncertain even with Government help

Monday 19th of September 2016 10:51:48 AM

Despite a warning by the operator that the future remains uncertain for the Mount Lyell copper mine, the Tasmanian Government remains hopeful that it will re-open in the near future. The government has been thanked by Copper Mines of Tasmania (CMT) for the recent extension of its assistance ....


Government offers incentive for Mt Lyell to reopen

Wednesday 18th of November 2015 01:35:49 PM

The owner of the Mt Lyell copper mine in Tasmania has been offered a $25 million incentive by the State Government to commit to reopening the mine. The mine near Queenstown on the west coast, has been on care and maintenance following the deaths of three workers. Two maintenance workers fell to ....


Owner of Mount Lyell mine charged over workers deaths

Friday 31st of July 2015 06:56:10 AM

Copper Mines of Tasmania, owner of the Mount Lyell copper mine has been charged in relation to the deaths of two miners 18 months ago. Alistair Lucas and Craig Gleeson died after a fall in a mine shaft at Queenstown in December 2013. After a Worksafe Tasmania investigation looked into the actions ....


Grieving Family Pleads for Answers Over Miners Death

Friday 3rd of July 2015 10:07:51 AM

Grieving family members of a contractor killed at Tasmania's Mount Lyell mine more than 18 months ago are frustrated that they still have no answers over the outcome of an investigation into his death. Michael Welsh 53, was operating a loader for contractor Barminco when he was the victim of a ....


Y Fronts teaser bannerDowner Group MiningLink prefered resume writers Civil Link Banner
Boilermakers
Boilermakers required for various roles for fixed plant and mobile equipment shutdowns

Riggers Dido


Operator Maintainer
Bis Industries requires an Operator Maintainer to join our operations at Karara, this is offered FIFO on 2:1 roster from Perth, come join the team!

Mc Truck Drivers Gunnedah
Bis Industries is seeking MC Drivers commencing at Gunnedah on a Monday to Friday roster and every other Saturday as required.

Mc Drivers Goldfields
Seeking expressions of interest from experienced MC Drivers, in consideration for multiple opportunities across our operations in the Goldfields.

Prelude Arrives In Australia
Shell Australia's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has arrived in Australian waters this week after its 5,800km journey from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, ....

Australia's Largest Testing Rig Unveiled In Rocky
Siemens has invested $5 million into the Rockhampton Service Centre, which unveiled this week, Australia’s largest and most advanced gearbox load test rig for mining, wind power and other core ....

Dinosaur Find At Qld Mine Site
Palaeontologists and volunteers will work over the next month excavating and studying 30,000-year-old dinosaur bones at the South Walker Creek mine in Central Queensland. The team of eight people, ....

Black Thoated Finch Puts New Coal Mine At Risk
The controversial black throated finch is back to cause problems for Adani with a fresh legal challenge over the planned Carmichael coalmine. New advice has found the federal environment ....

Monadelphous Awarded $55M In Contracts
Monadelphous Group Limited announced on Wednesday it has been awarded a number of new work packages with a combined value of approximately $55 million. The engineering company will carry out ....