Company fined over bee sting death

Mine operators reminded to make safety a priority
Date: Thursday, 13 August 2020

Indus Mining Services Pty Ltd was today fined $60,000 and ordered to pay $6,000 in costs over the death of a contractor who suffered a severe allergic reaction after being stung by a bee in February 2018.  
The 34-year-old engineering surveyor was working alone at Iluka Resources' Cataby mine site around 150km north of Perth.  
Shortly after being stung, the worker self-administered an EpiPen and radioed for emergency assistance. Co-workers found him unconscious and unresponsive some minutes later. A site medic and St John's Ambulance paramedics were unable to revive him.  
The worker was airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital and placed in an induced coma, but passed away two weeks later.  
Indus pleaded guilty in the Moora Magistrates Court for failing to provide a safe working environment in which a contracted employee was not exposed to hazards.  
While Indus informed Iluka Resources of the worker's allergy, it did not convey that his condition was life threatening or that he had previously been hospitalised for a bee sting.  
Andrew Chaplyn, Mines Safety Director at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety said bees were known to be prolific and a problem at the Cataby mine site. 
"This incident is a reminder to all mining companies to make safety a priority," Mr Chaplyn said. 
"Employers should ensure site managers are aware of the significant information in a worker's medical assessment to ensure their employees are not exposed to hazardous working environments."