BHP criticized for 'inhumane' conditions on site

“Disgusting” and “inhumane” is how a registered nurse and former BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) employee described the working conditions at the company’s Marradong bauxite mine in Western Australia.

According to ABC News, the health professional —Jeremy Clarke— filed a formal complaint with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), saying the operating environment shocked him.  Clarke claims he was bullied by his supervisor and ordered off site when asking for water and a hat.

“The conditions out there are inhumane, absolutely inhumane, the conditions that we're working under,” he was quoted as saying.

“I'm absolutely astounded that we can still allow people to work in those conditions, it's like come on guys wake up to yourselves,” he added.

It is said the DMP sent a safety officer to inspect the site and found some health and hygiene problems that needed to be fixed.

The agency has been following BHP’s moves closely. On Friday, it released a statement saying it has found the miner’s iron ore division guilty of failing to provide a safe working environment, in relation to a death in 2008.

Following a four and a half year investigation and prosecution lead by the DMP, the Perth Magistrate’s Court ruled Friday that Andrew McLaughlin’s death could have been prevented and that BHP did not provide minimum instruction and supervision, or implement and enforce a suitable job hazard assessment (JHA).

(Image: Coal workers courtesy of Democracy Underground.)