New Zealand mining disaster: Sweeping away of old laws left industry "in limbo"

New laws to improve worker participation in health and safety matters and toughen up directors' duties should be given early attention, according to an official report into the Pike River mining tragedy in New Zealand two years ago. The Pike River coal mine, which lies on the west coast of the South Island, exploded on 19 November 2010, due to the ignition of a large volume of methane gas. Twenty-nine men underground died immediately, or soon afterwards, either from the blast or from the toxic atmosphere. Over the next nine days the mine exploded three more times before it was sealed.

The Royal Commission report into the incident, issued 5 November 2012, makes 16 recommendations, the vast majority of which the New Zealand Government has promised to take forward immediately. Following its release, Labour minister Kate Wilkinson resigned from her post, but retains ministerial responsibilities for other portfolios.

Source : http://www.sheilapantry.com/oshworld/news.html#New_Zealand_mining_disaster 

The Royal Commission report is available at: http://pikeriver.royalcommission.govt.nz/Final-Report

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