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Agnew gold mine 15 fired....not sure what to think about this?????

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by OldandWorn, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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  2. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that is pretty harsh. I imagine it must be tough on the miners' families to have to suffer the loss of income due to this stunt. "Dad, no more internet for you..." :(
     
  3. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    for a goofy video that didnt seem to show on safety violations seems a bit harsh if not draconian. i think they might have a case for a labor lawyer.
     
  4. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    Speaking as an ex-employer of a sizeable number of employees, I believe the instant dismissal and banning of the re-employment of these guys, is a little over-the-top, and way out of line for what was effectively some mild misbehaviour.
    The bottom line is, these guys didn't do anything seriously dangerous as regards OH&S - but they were fooling around like 16 yr olds, when in fact they should have been a lot more mature in their outlook, and been seen to be behaving responsibly.
    The simple fact remains that underground operations is a serious business - there's big $$'s at stake - and these guys are paid big $$'s (think well into 6 figure salaries) to work and perform like professionals.
    The mining industry is particularly harsh on breaches of any regulations - and while it's hard to define a serious breach of mining regulations here - be aware that even 20 yrs ago, failure to wear a hard hat, even on the surface of a West Australian mine, for any period of time, warranted a $400 fine and instant dismissal.

    I believe these guys have every right to claim unfair dismissal - as I'm personally of the opinion that the companys reaction was extreme. However, there may be more to the story.
    The whole crew may have been a bunch of difficult-to-control guys, and perhaps they have been warned previously about fooling around on site.
    Only time will tell if the company was within its rights to do what it did - but as a general rule, it's not generally acceptable under any local employment laws, to dismiss people summarily, on the spot, for one single event of tomfoolery.
    I would expect the company will have to prove there was a previous pattern of misbehaviour, and at least one warning was previously given (for unacceptable behaviour), before they have a leg to stand on.
     
  5. robin yates uk

    robin yates uk Senior Member

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    I have always liked Australians for their humour, wit and devil may care attitude .To sack guys like this is bad, bad, bad
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  6. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    I have been struggling over these exact points. At least I know what the Harlem Shake is now.:confused: I was at first wondering why the mask....why is that guy standing there like a statue....why one then a bunch. From looking at other videos it seems that it's all part of the theme.
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Unfortunately the big mining companies have a major sense of humour failure when it comes to actual or perceived breaches of safety regulations. I know, I work for one ..............
     
  8. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    The whole thing hinges on whether there was a breach of West Australian Dept of Mines & Petroleum mining regulations - because the WADMP is the ultimate safety-governing body for mining in W.A.
    The WADMP has indicated it initially appears there was only a minor breach of company safety guidelines - and that WADMP will investigate as to whether there was a chargeable breach of W.A. mining law or regulations.

    I would hazard an educated guess that there has been no breach of mining laws or regulations - even if what the guys did, was a somewhat silly juvenile stunt.
    Underground mining is a particularly hazardous operation, even in the hard rock they operate in - and I can recall in the bad days, as recently as the late 1970's, we were losing a miner every 1 or 2 months, mostly due to unexpected rockfalls.
    With the advent of totally-cage-protected mining machinery and remote controls, the hazards associated with underground mining are nowhere near what they were, in the 1960 and 1970's.

    However - the risks of injuries and fatalities are still ever-present underground, and it's not a place to take your eye off the ball, and start indulging in juvenile entertainment stunts.
    It sends a message to management that they don't want to hear - that the blokes concerned are more interested in making an entertainment video, than they are in working - and that they're possibly prepared to adopt a cavalier approach to mine safety.

    With the company (and WADMP) accent on zero injuries and zero fatalities, driven by workers compensation costs and rottweiler lawyers - to indicate that you have a less-than-serious approach to your job, is not something that is going to go down well with management.
    There are places and times to carry out entertainment video stunts - but a dangerous workplace in an underground mine, certainly isn't one of them - and certainly not when you're being paid 6 figure salaries to work hard, produce ore, and obey safety rules.

    There has been a upsurge in injuries and fatalities in the last 2 or 3 yrs in the mining industry in W.A., that has led to a drive for safety reform from the WADMP, to ensure that the LTI & fatalities graph starts a downward trend again. These blokes should have been well aware of the re-invigorated drive on mine safety and strict adherence to WADMP and mining company protocols.

    It's well known, that there are people in the mining industry here, who have a tendency to indulge in "risk-taking behaviour". This means that there are people who are prepared to take short-cuts on safety, to "get the job done".
    It's the WADMP's and the mining companies position, that there is no place for these people in the mining industry - and as soon as they're identified, they are moved on out of the industry - and they find that there's no longer any "job opportunities" for them in mining.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/16302760/miners-fired-as-contract-in-balance/
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  9. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    Having had to occasionally deal with the urgent PM saying I posted some pictures on HEF and my boss is threatening to fire me if you don't take them down, I am given to wonder if the company doesn't also have rules against taking unauthorized pictures of their workplace.
     
  10. CAT793

    CAT793 Well-Known Member

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    It has nothing to do with sense of Humor.....

    Share Price, Percieved Safety Record, next Contract.

    If you owned that mine and saw that Clip on National TV by your Major Contractor what would you assume is the culture underground when no one was watching/filming. I too am a Clown but you learn quickly that when you agree to enter certain work environment that with it come responsibilities and you are 100% representing the organisation that pays your wage.

    We all make a decision and either accept it or deal with the consequences.
     
  11. alco

    alco Senior Member

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    The sad thing is OldandWorn, that wasn't even the actual Harlem Shake. All of those annoying Harlem Shake videos out there, are so far from the real thing, it's kinda sad.

    That being said, I feel the whole issue of these guys getting fired for this video is a little too harsh. But the others who have commented all have valid points in my opinion. I know if we had done something like this at work, we would suffer the same fate. However, we have a no personal electronic device policy that can lead to termination. I don't know if they share a similar policy, but that could be the reason for the dismissals as Digger mentioned.
     
  12. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    I'm not 100% sure of what Barminco's policy is on taking photographs, they don't appear to make it public - but it's highly likely both Barminco & the South African-owned Gold Fields Ltd, the owner of the Agnew Gold Mine, have restrictions on personal photography and video of their operations and sites. This is not uncommon in W.A. mining - the Telfer Gold mine, owned by Newcrest Mining, has absolutely draconian photography restrictions, that also include the banning of any aerial shots of the mine.

    This is an interesting angle, because we all like to see photos of jobsites and projects - and there's even a website that encourages employees to post anonymous photos of their worksite, so that potential employees can gain some insight into the companys operations. I would imagine any employee of any major company, who posted photos on that workplace photo website, would be facing some major repercussions if they didn't run the photos past company management, first.

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Photos/Barminco-Australia-Office-Photos-EI_IE565906.0,8_IL.9,18_IN16.htm

    Barminco are a very tough crowd to work for. All the company management from the Chairman down, are noted for their lack of tolerance in employee behaviour. Perhaps a major factor here could be a HR manager who appears to be having problems staying in one job for an extended period. She has been through 7 jobs in 15 years and in the last 5 jobs she's held down, she's averaged only 14 mths in each job.
    I'm also raising an eyebrow at her going from a job with the multi-national BHP Billiton Iron Ore (where she only lasted 7 mths), to a very much smaller contractor, in the shape of Barminco.
    All this would possibly indicate an abrasive personality, or a person who has difficulty in creating a smooth workplace environment, where everyone is happy and works together well.

    The June 2012 Barminco Chairmans message to employees, is one of an exceptionally tough stance on safety issues and adherence to company aims.
    If the blokes who made the entertainment video didn't understand what the Chairman was saying in the last company newsletter - or didn't read it - then they largely have themselves to blame for their predicament.

    Barminco June 2012 newsletter - http://www.barminco.com.au/documents/BAR-Newsletter-JUNE2012.aspx

    Barminco OH&S policies - http://www.barminco.com.au/How-We-Work/Our-Policies/Occupational-Health-and-Safety.aspx
     
  13. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . . Ozdozer I am unaware of any controlled airspace over minesites. If some one was to poke around over head with a long lens in an R22 there is not much Newcrest could do . . . there is nothing more futile than unenforcable rules.

    Cheers.
     
  14. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    MORE INFO: Barminco were running a photo competition on Facebook last year and didn't appear to be overly concerned about photos of their worksite being posted - nor did they seem to be exercising any control or supervision over photo-posting.
    There are a lot of postings on the Barminco Facebook page calling for the fired employees re-instatement, and expressing outrage at Barmincos "fun-killing" management attitude.
    However, I would say a lot of those Facebook members have little experience or knowledge of underground mining, mining regulations, or the underground mining safety culture.
     
  15. OzDozer

    OzDozer Senior Member

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    Srub Puller - Taking photos is becoming a bit of a minefield today, with new State laws being introduced that make a chargeable offence of some photo-taking, where you're snooping on people or industry.
    In essence, you can take photos of people and places that are "public" places, and of people carrying out "public" activities - but if you take photos of people indulging in "private activities", on "private property", you can expect charges to be laid.
    As minesites are regarded legally as "private property", with entry restricted to only those who have been approved by the company, I would expect that even taking aerial photos of minesites now falls under the new, restrictive laws.
    You cannot be charged for taking photos of private property from a public place - but a mine owner may argue that any photos of their mine taken without their approval, could constitute "industrial espionage" and seek redress.
    Despite Newmonts draconian policy as regards photos of the Telfer mine - you only have to Google "Telfer Gold Mine" and click on "images", to get plenty of hits in the results!
     
  16. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    I found that out shortly after I posted thanks to those TIME SUCKING videos on the sidebar. You know the ones….when you really just wanted to see an old D8 cold start but end up watching hours of George Carlin or something else totally unrelated. :D


    Talking to people on the streets of Harlem.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGH2HEgWppc
     
  17. OldandWorn

    OldandWorn Senior Member

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    Good to see yair back Scrub!
     
  18. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . . Thanks OldandWorn I just havn't been posting . . . .

    Cheers.