Westgold Resources says it will begin a gradual return to operations at its Big Bell gold mine near Cue after a shut down following the death of a female worker. Paige Counsell, 25, was killed when struck by an underground mining vehicle on Tuesday. The gold miner said Ms Counsell was a valued member of its mining services subsidiary Minterra. “The company again expresses its deepest sympathy to Paige’s family, friends and colleagues,” Westgold said in a statement. “Westgold is engaged with Paige’s family to ensure they are supported throughout this difficult time. “Following the completion of preliminary investigations, inspectors from WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has cleared the site to resume operations.” The company said it would slowly restart work at the mine, recognising the distress caused by the incident on its tight-knit workforce. “This will allow time for all of our employees and contractors at site to receive counselling and feel comfortable returning to work,” Westgold said. It said it would also continue to work with DMIRS on its investigation of the incident. Australian Workers Union WA branch secretary Brad Gandy said this week every worker deserved to come home safely. “These tragedies are coming up far too regularly,” he said. On Tuesday, Westgold chief executive Peter Cook said the devastating news of Ms Counsell’s death had shaken the company to its core. “The safety and wellbeing of our people is a priority to us, which is why we will ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted into this tragic incident,” he said. The incident comes just weeks after Saracen Mineral Holdings boss Raleigh Finlayson raised an alert about the potential for workplace injuries over the festive season when workers were more likely to be distracted. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union sent a letter to each of its nearly 7000 members ahead of Christmas warning them about the potential for workplace injuries and reminding them about the risk of mental health issues. “This is a time when our hands aren’t where our heads are,” AMWU State secretary Steve McCartney said. “We’re thinking about home, we’re thinking about Christmas.” Ms Counsell’s death is the third mine site fatality this year after Perth father-of-two Michael Johnson plunged 25m to his death in July at Saracen Mineral Holdings’ Dervish gold mine near Kalgoorlie-Boulder. In January, Howard Prosser died at the Roy Hill iron ore operation in the Pilbara.