Employees sacked for filming Harlem Shake

by Stephanie Zillman05 Mar 2013

Up to 15 workers in Western Australia have been sacked from their lucrative mining jobs after filming a Harlem Shake dance clip and breaching workplace health and safety requirements in the process.

One of the workers was reportedly employed by Hahn Electrical Contracting, and as many as 14 others were employed by Barminco. The mining workers have claimed the group did not endanger their safety during the stunt – and abided by rules to wear helmets, portable oxygen and other measures. Yet they also conceded that removing their shirts was against WHS policies, which required workers to wear long-sleeved shirts at all times. A dismissal letter obtained by the West Australian indicates the workers have been banned for life from working at any Barminco job site.

An unnamed worker told the West that the group had performed the stunt on supported ground in the underground mine at 2.30am nearly a fortnight ago, adding music to the video the next day. While he admitted removing their shirts was against the policies, he said the reason for this was to prevent Barminco's name from showing up in the video clip when it was posted on YouTube.

The man said some of the sacked workers had been with the company for up to eight years and were distraught at losing their jobs over the 30-second video. “It was 2.30 in the morning and we thought we just had to do something to get us going again," he said, adding “Sometimes you lose a bit of momentum at that time of the morning.”

Premier Colin Barnett weighed in the incident, commenting that there is no room for skylarking at mine sites. The stunt mirrors a similar craze in 2011, when several workers were sacked over incidents of ‘planking’.  Woolworths sacks employees for ‘planking’

Picture: Screen shot YouTube


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