Man confronts mining company for workplace negligence

In a David versus Goliath story, a South African man is taking on Canadian mining giant, Ivanhoe.

JOHANNESBURG - A workplace accident has become a catalyst for a battle between one man and a giant mining company.

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Andrew Haskins was working at one of Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary's operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2017 when an accident changed his life.

Haskins was a boilermaker and rigger in the mining industry for over 40 years.

On 9 November 2017, Haskins was working at a copper mine in the DRC, employed by Kamoa-Copper SA, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines.

He claims he was injured after being given an instruction to install a pump using the wrong equipment. 

Haskins asked, "if a mine manager knows the correct equipment is not available, why does he give that instruction?"

Attorney Chris Marais, representing Haskins in his dispute, claimed the negligence is clear cut.

"Their incident report states that the wrong equipment was used at the time of the incident when Mr Haskins overturned a telehandler."

"It was actually documented in the incident report that the incorrect equipment was used."

Haskins said after the incident a company doctor examined his neck but not his back.

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He was later flown to South Africa and underwent lumbar fusion surgery on 6 December 2017.

Despite the operation, Haskins' condition is said to be deteriorating and was declared unfit to work.

Responding to questions from eNCA, Kamoa Copper SA said, "we have to date not been provided with sufficient, credible evidence that any injury occurred as a result of the incident."

They continued, "the allegation that he was injured is also at odds with his own conduct in the period immediately following the incident…"

"…the Company's requests for detailed medical reports to substantiate Mr Haskins' claims have been refused by him and his adviser."

Kamoa Copper SA says it will defend any claim brought against it in the DRC.