Friday, July 04, 2014

Mining safety expert Dave Feickert dies aged 67

Mine safety specialist Dave Feickert has died after a long battle with liver cancer at the age 67.

Born in 1947 in the Whanganui region of New Zealand, Feickert was best known for helping to improve coal mining safety standards in China.

In 2009, Feickert won the China Friendship Prize for Foreign Experts, for helping to lower the accident rate in Chinese coal mines. His efforts are said to have resulted in a 70% decrease in the number of accidents in Chinese coal mines over a five year period.

Feickert had worked in mine safety in the United Kingdom and New Zealand and had authored newspaper commentaries critical of government mining and safety policies in both countries.

In 2011 he helped publicise pioneering treatment for miners who had contracted 'black lung' also known as pneumoconiosis. He organised a fact finding operation to Hebei province where several hospitals treat sufferers with 'lung washing' or 'lung lavage'.

He was the Whanganui branch president of the New Zealand China Friendship Society and an advocate of traditional Chinese medicine, which he had taken to treat his liver cancer after doctors in New Zealand told him his condition was terminal.

Feickert passed away in the Hospice Wanganui on Wednesday 2nd July at 03:30 local time, leaving behind his second wife Jiang Bingjing. He also leaves behind his first wife and mother of his daughter Sonia Lewycka, the British author Marina Lewycka, as well as two grand children.

Goodbye to a dear friend and colleague.

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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