||Issue No. 266||03 June 2005|
An Act of Faith
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
Broken Hill Confronts "Choice"
Soaring Mercury Sparks Walk Off
Education Stands Up To Howard Assault
The Locker Room
Remembering Workers In Cairns
Fair Go For Injured Workers
A Question Of Choice
Galahs Up The Cross
Labor Council of NSW
BHP Faces Losses
Western Australian authorities confirmed, last week, they would lay four charges against BHP Billiton over the death of AMWU member, James Wadley, in a horrific gas explosion.
Since then, the fiance of AMWU delegate, Corey Bentley, killed at BHP's Nelson Point iron ore facility has filed papers suing Australia's largest company for negligence, and Jasmine Rose Bailey has launched a damages claim arising from the death of apprentice, Ross McKinnon.
Bentley asked Tracey Appleyard to marry him just weeks before he was crushed in an early morning incident at Nelson Point, on May 2, last year.
Bailey has filed papers on behalf of her four-month-old daughter, Cheree, against contractor, Westrac, who operated at BHP's Ore Body 25, near Newman.
Workers Online understands Bailey was pregnant when McKinnon lost his life.
The flurry of court action follows a damning report into mine safety in the Pilbara by Perth-based lawyer, Mark Ritter. The state government ordered the Ritter Inquiry in response to a campaign led by the AMWU and Pilbara Mineworkers Union.
Ritter found BHP's aggressive use of AWAs, at the centre of Prime Minister John Howard's workplace change agenda, had contributed to serious health and safety shortcomings.
It's use of individual contracts, he said, was a "factor which has impacted and continues to impact on the successful implementation of safety systems".
Ritter made 32 recommendations for improved health and safety procedures to the state government.
Last week, Workers Online revealed BHP had recorded a staggering 32 "near fatalities" in the 10 months since Wadley, Bentley and McKinnon lost their lives.
BHP described the situations, all from the Pilbara, as "potential level four incidents".
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