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Employment ministry investigates man’s death at Dreketi mining site

The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relation, and Employment is continuing investigations into the death of a 29-year-old man during a mining incident in Dreketi, Vanua Levu last month. The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relation and Employment Hon. Semi Koroilavesau told Newswire that further investigations are underway. KOROILAVESAU: “The team in Labasa are carrying out the […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

June 13, 2016 8:40 am

The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relation, and Employment is continuing investigations into the death of a 29-year-old man during a mining incident in Dreketi, Vanua Levu last month.

The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
The Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Hon. Semi Koroilavesau. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relation and Employment Hon. Semi Koroilavesau told Newswire that further investigations are underway.

KOROILAVESAU: “The team in Labasa are carrying out the investigations and they have submitted a initial report but we are waiting for a substansive report on the incident.”

Minister Koroilavesau said the hold up of the investigations was because no one saw what had happened.

KOROILAVESAU: “That is the hold up, because there was not any eye witnesses on the scene during the incident. That is the hold up because no body witnessed what had happen.”

An investigation into the death of a 29-year-old man in a work related accident is currently underway.

The site of the Xinfa-Aurum Explorations Fiji Limited (Facebook)
The site of the mining works in Dreketi.  (Facebook)

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the man had died after he was trapped and crushed on the conveyor belt carrying soil containing bauxite.

Naisoro said the incident occurred last Saturday morning at Matasawalevu in Dreketi.

NAISORO: “He was rushed to the Dreketi Health Centre but was pronounced dead.”

Investigations continue and the post-mortem is yet to be conducted.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources Chief Environment Officer Mr. Apete Soro said that a Senior officer from the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources is currently investigating the matter.

SORO: “There have been cases in the past however I do believe that this is a first for the North.”

He said it was yet to be established if the worker was wearing protective gear during the incident as investigations were still underway however he stressed the importance of adhering to OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) procedures in high-risk areas.

SORO: “The health and safety regarding workers is clearly stipulated under the ‘Mining Act’ and how workers should observe and adhere to the safety of operations in the mine and we do run awareness with the mining companies .”

He said the ministry was relying on mining workers to be self-regulated.

SORO: “The mining area is one that strictly requires safety gear to be worn at all times as soon as you enter the area there is a strict instruction and there’s no compromise on that.”

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