6 Jul 2010

New Caledonia's Vale plant overhauls safety after acid injury

1:20 pm on 6 July 2010

New Caledonia's Vale nickel plant has overhauled some procedures and revised safety rules after a worker was burnt by spurting acid last month.

The 54 year old man was flown to Sydney for specialist treatment after the incident.

Sally Round reports

"The Brazilian-owned Vale New Caledonia says the incident prompted an immediate investigation by six experts. They found attachments linking a temporary pipeline to a container of sulphuric acid may have come off. The company says there will be a complete overhaul of purging procedures, and safety perimeter rules will be revised. It also says there was no structural failure in the main pipeline and the injured employee was wearing appropriate protective equipment for his job. A company spokesperson says the company will not be releasing details of the injured worker's condition. Formerly known as Vale Inco, the company was strongly criticised after a massive acid spill in April last year. The leak killed thousands of fish and affected the World Heritage protected Prony Bay during a test run of its new facility."