Kenneth Slater 1994

12/09/1994 - Tick Hill Gold Mine - Fly rock from unconfined blasting

Mr Slater lost his life and Mr McGuiness was exposed to serious risk due to the exposure to fly rock from unconfined blasting and the deliberate detonation of an unknown quantity of deteriorated explosive.

Fly rock distribution was in excess of an estimated 300 metres and the accident site was 42 metres from the point of detonation.

The blast crew failed to take adequate precautions to protect their own safety.

This accident claimed the life of Kenneth Andrew Slater


1. This Inquiry has highlighted unacceptable non-compliance with statutory requirements and lack of implementation of health and safety measures to at least meet applicable standards. Consultation be initiated by company managements, employee representatives and statutory authorities to determine action to bring the health and safety practice in the industry to a high standard. The means to deal with non-compliance with relevant acts, standards and codes should be determined.

The Department of Minerals and Energy should direct the inspectorate to take firm action where non-compliance with the mines regulation act and the metalliferous mining regulations occurs. The disciplinary process should be improved and an effective penalty structure developed and implemented. The means to support this implementation of such a penalty structure should be provided.

It is essential that the Department of Minerals and Energy ensure that the frequency of mines inspections and audits by all government and union appointed officers is sufficient to contribute to continuous improvement in health and safety issues effecting mining employees.

2. A person appointed to manage any part of a mining operation who does not hold a certificate of competency as a mine manager must demonstrate a working knowledge of the mines regulations act and the metalliferous mining regulations before taking up that appointment.

3. Before taking up an appointment as "a person appointed to assist the manager" that person must demonstrate a working knowledge of those parts of the mines regulations act and the metalliferous mining regulations which pertain to their duties and responsibilities.

4. A tri-partite industry group, including the relevant government Inspectors and persons with knowledge of relevant acts, regulations, standards and work practices should be set up to develop competency standards for the storage, transport and use of explosives in the mining industry.