Friday, May 12, 2006

Putting Beaconsfield in context

So the tasmanian miners walked free the other day after spending 2 weeks trapped underground. The media circus has been crazy and the benefit concert was held last night with a bunch of b grade celebrities talking about 'community' and 'spirit of mateship' over and over while shaking hands and hugging the two miners for a full half hour.

I found this article that was sent to me this morning particularly interesting:

Jane Nethercote writes:

During the two weeks that Todd Russell and Brant Webb were stuck underground, statistically speaking, around 190 Chinese coal miners would have died.

Factually speaking, nine miners did die of carbon monoxide poisoning, two days before the Australian miners re-emerged. That story generates just over 50 stories when plugged into Google News; a search for "Beaconsfield Mine" produces thousands.

Mining is the most dangerous occupation in Australia according to the CFMEU, with the chance of coal miners being killed over their 40-year working life estimated at one in 28.

But globally, the statistics are even grimmer. Miners represent 1% of the global work force yet 7% of global work fatalities.

Last year, the majority of South Africa's mine fatalities came from the gold mining sector, which had 104 fatalities out of total industry fatalities of 202. That's exactly two deaths a week. In South Africa, it's estimated that one worker dies and 12 suffer serious injuries for every ton of gold produced.

For miners, there's no worse place to be than down a Chinese mine. On average, China records about 5,000 miners' deaths a year – although analysts estimate that as many as 10,000 people die each year in coal mines in China.

thanks to Dennis.


Anonymous said...

sucks to be a chinese miner...
everyone keeps talking up how much money coal miners make in Australia. In fact, 3 of the top ten earning postcodes in Qld are mining towns of just a thousand or so people BUT all the cash in the world aint gonna help when a mine wall comes tumbling down or a truck tyre blows (bloke killed by a massive tyre blow out last year).
I think I'll keep my cushy little day job, take less holidays and drink discount beer...

mark robert allen said...

yeah amen to that brother.