||Issue No. 311||16 June 2006|
Interview: Rock Solid
Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Politics: The Johnnie Code
Energy: Fission Fantasies
History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
International: Closer to Home
Economics: Taking the Fizz
Unions: Stronger Together
Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Poetry: Fair Go Gone
The Locker Room
A Nuclear Error
Death Sentence for BHP
BHP Billiton admitted negligence related to the 2004 explosion that killed Wadley and left three colleagues severely burned.
The prosecution was lodged, under WA Mines, Safety and Inspection laws, after an inquiry found safety had been compromised by BHP's AWA-driven industrial relations strategy.
Perth barrister Mark Ritter described the company's drive to individual contracts as "a factor which has impacted and continues to impact on the successful implementation of safety systems".
BHP Billiton is a key player in the Australian Mines and Metals Association that, last week, lashed ALP leader Kim Beazley for his opposition to AWAs.
Acting Magistrate Robert Burton fined the company $100,000 for Mr Wadley's death, and $50,000 each for the injuries sustained by two of his former workmates. He also ordered to pay $58,000 in costs.
Workers Online understands the billion-dollar multinational also faces charges stemming from other fatalities at its Australian mining operations.
Last year, the bereaved fiancé of union delegate, Corey Bentley, filed papers suing Australia's largest company for negligence.
Bentley was crushed at BHP's Port Nelson iron ore facility, also in the Pilbara, just weeks after proposing to Tracey Appleyard.
In Adelaide, three criminal charges have been laid against BHP Billiton in relation to last year's death of a father of two who suffocated on mud and dust, 500 metres below its Olympic Dam uranium mine.
The South Australian Industrial Relations Court laid the counts over the death 38-year-old, Karl Eibi.
If found guilty, under South Australan law, Australia's largest company would face maximum fines of $100,000 on each count.
Meanwhile, the Australian Mines and Metals Association has opposed a proposition that could have seen negligent company directors charged with criminal offences when employees were killed at work.
Unions WA has called for directors to be charged with industrial manslaughter in serious cases of negligence.
Minerals Council of Australia spokesman Rob Rawson said the proposal was "unnecessary" and "illogical".
"The assumption there is they (directors) are somehow responsible or involved and I think that's not necessarily the case," Rawson said.
Workers Gassed In Tunnel
Two electrical contractors have been hospitalised after being gassed by carbon monoxide fumes while working on the Lane Cove Tunnel project over the Queens Birthday long weekend.
The electricians were working on a diesel powered scissor lift in the tunnel at about 11.30pm on Friday night when they began to feel nauseous.
One worker left the scene while the other was ordered to keep working with a facemask. That worker then complained about feeling worse, before both electricians were hospitalised with high levels of carbon monoxide in their systems.
Workers allege that Theiss John Holland had turned off extractor fans, allowing the toxic gases to accumulate.
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