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Indonesia: eleven mine workers injured in accident

7 April, 2022Eleven mine workers were injured in a truck crash at the nickel mine site of PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), located in North Maluku Island on 2 April.

Following an initial investigation by IndustriALL affiliate Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers' Union (FSPMI), the cause of the accident is believed to be brake failure. The dumping truck driver lost control and crashed into two other dumping trucks.

During the investigation, mine workers at PT IWIP said the company forced drivers to meet high targets or they would be punished. It is believed that the dumping truck was at full speed when the accident happened; the hasty and profit-oriented culture has led to preventable equipment failure and accidents.

FSPMI is demanding that PT IWIP take full responsibility for the accident and make adequate compensations to the injured workers. The union is urging the company to provide health and safety training for all mine workers and conduct regular inspection on machinery and equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) committee must also function effectively to avoid future accidents.

“This is not the first workplace accident at PT IWIP; last year a worker died in an accident. The negligence of the company and the ineffective OSH committee are causing repetitive accidents. We call on the local government to strengthen supervision – human lives cannot be revived,”

says FSPMI president Riden Hatam Aziz.

“CEMWU regrets the accident and urges the company to treat the injured in accordance to the law. The company should cooperate with trade unions to increase awareness on occupational health and safety for zero accidents in the future,”

says Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Union (CEMWU SPSI) president R. Abdullah.

Four of the eleven workers were seriously injured, and all were immediately hospitalized.

IndustriALL mining and health and safety director Glen Mpufane says:

"PT Weda Bay Nickel must understand that the low carbon energy transition does not need critical raw materials that are dropping with bloods from the death and injuries of mineworkers. It must ensure that the critical minerals they produce are clean and part of ensuring that is to ensure respect for health and safety of their workers."

Currently, approximately 29,000 workers are employed by 3 major companies and 15 subcontracting companies at the industrial park.
PT Weda Bay Nickel targets to produce 30,000 tonne Nickel per year. PT Yashi Indonesia builds ferronickel smelters for the industrial park, while PT Youshan Nickel Indonesia is a battery component manufacturer for electric cars