Pike directors reject profit claim
Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:38a.m.
Three former directors of the Pike River Coal company have hit back at the findings of the royal commission of inquiry into the disaster, saying they never put profit before safety.
John Dow, Ray Meyer and Stuart Nattrass were directors of Pike River Coal at the time of the explosion at the West Coast underground mine, where 29 men were killed in November, 2010.
Earlier this month, the royal commission released the results of its 14-month inquiry into the disaster, finding the mine's managers were so focused on short-term coal production, they never considered the risk of an explosion.
But the three directors, after digesting the report fully, released a statement through their lawyers on Wednesday, saying they strongly disagreed with the suggestion that production was ever prioritised ahead of safety at the mine.
They said the commission's view conflicted with evidence it received from senior management staff, who emphasised that, while encouraging production safety was always their highest priority.
They accused the commission of basing its view upon conjecture or impression, and not the evidence.
"Its report does not identify any particular circumstances, or any documents, in which a safety requirement was not met for financial reasons or because it might have impacted upon production."
They said the commission did not seek any evidence from the company's financial staff, nor review the company's accounts or financial documents.
"The company's board never rejected a health and safety request on financial grounds or because it might have impacted upon production."
The men also said the mine's operations were known to the Department of Labour mine inspectors, the miners' union, the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service, international and national contracting companies, consultants and mine experts, and many others.
"None of these individuals or organisations expressed concerns to the company's management in relation to safety at the time," the directors said.
The men said they welcomed discussion about the future of mine safety in New Zealand following the commission's recommendations.
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21/11/2012 6:50:17 p.m.
Ex DOL Inspector wrote:
Annual Report to Shareholders of Pike River Mine Ltd. from your Directors.
Productivity = Nil
Occupational Safety and Health = 29 killed - unknown on-going costs of litigation and unknown costs of company reputation damage.
Environmental: Long term environmental contamination of ground water for region highly likely with ongoing unknown costs and fines for company.
Corporate Reputation = Severely blemished - unlikely to secure further projects.
Future Prospects = unknown but dismal given the overall situation.
Return on your investment (ROI) = Nil with possibility of of negative return in light of on-going unknown situation.
Conclusion = A great return on your investment - Pike River Mine Directors have proven themselves to be credible and responsible corporate citizens setting and maintaining high standards of performance in Productivity, Profitability, Health and Safety, Environmental Management and Corporate responsibility.
Governments, corporates. private investors and employees should be proud to be associated with and have ultimate confidence in Pike River Mine Ltd - we have discovered the formula to corporate success!
Join us and trust in us on in our next project and sleep well at night knowing you will be better off in the morning!
21/11/2012 12:42:38 p.m.
Well I guess 29 dead men gives the lie to this...
21/11/2012 12:34:54 p.m.
Peter Mitchell wrote:
The Directors of Pike River approved a productivity bonus that made production the first priority pushing safety into a much lesser role. They want to argue facts. This is is one that is totally contrary to good governance. Anyone can understand that if you want to create an unsafe working environment, dangle the prospect of a large bonus in front of the people at risk. The Directors are as culpable as the manager.
21/11/2012 12:30:02 p.m.
safety was what the National party scrapped when they deregulated the mining industry in an attempt to get rid of unions. that's the truth and it should be said instead of protecting National. the buck stops there. the company was to blame also because they abused that freedom of deregulation.
unions are needed for employee safety and fairness. this gov't are also anti union and thankfully this will be their last term in office .
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