Fortescue Metals addresses allegations of unsafe working conditions

Fortescue Metals is defending itself against allegations that its Christmas Creek mine is unsafe.

In December, after two deaths over a period of six months, the West Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) ordered the iron ore miner to tighten safety procedures at all of its operations.

In August an electrician in his 20s died at Christmas Creek. In October a worker was seriously injured after being "pinned in the rear truck's cabin for more than five hours," ABC News reported. Then last month, 23-year-old contractor died while doing maintenance on a surface miner overnight.

Following the latest fatality, the DMP suspended surface mining operations at Christmas Creek in order to carry out an investigation. At the time, a union representative told Business Spectator reporters that his union had recently received complaints over Fortescue's mine, including anonymous emails.

Mining Australia recently reported on four safety incidents at Christmas Creek that all occurred within one week. DMP told repoters that investigations are underway.

Fortescue doesn't like what it's hearing and the company's CEO has published a video on YouTube addressing the concerns.

In the video, Nev Power refers to "uninformed public comment" about safety and says that he "wants to make it clear" that "safety is core" to everything that happens at the company.

"Recent serous incidents at Christmas Creek are totally unacceptable," Power says, adding that it would be "irresponsible" of him or "anyone else to comment publicly on any individual incident until formal findings are handed down."

See the video here