7 Jul 2004

Fiji's Emperor Company says safety procedures may not have been followed in miner's death

4:09 pm on 7 July 2004

The Emperor Gold mining company in Fiji says initial enquiries show that safety procedures may not have been followed when a miner died last weekend.

44 year old Suriya Reddy was killed when a loader bucket fell on him in a mineshaft underground.

His death led to the union calling for the company to improve the safety for miners, saying they face wet conditions, high temperatures, a lack of ventilation and rockfalls, when working.

Emperor's acting general manager, Fergus Hart, says although he can't talk yet about the official enquiry, the company has a very good safety record.

"Initial investigation though, would tend to indicate that the incident resulted from a lack of adherence to the procedures and standards."

Mr Hart says Emperor has spent millions of dollars installing two new vent shafts and chiller plants, as well as continuing to extract water from the bottom of the mine.

He says the official investigations should be completed by the end of this week.