The lawyer for one of the sacked "Harlem Shake" miners who broke into a dance craze in a WA underground mine says the 30-second dance that cost 15 employees their lucrative jobs did no harm.
West Australian mining contractor Barminco made worldwide headlines earlier this week when it sacked more than a dozen workers from the Agnew gold mine after their YouTube version of the internet's latest dance craze went viral.
Citing safety issues, Barminco sparked a national debate as to whether they were heavy handed in sacking the employees, posting on its company Facebook page that "safety takes unconditional priority at all times ... and we will not make any exception to this".
Barminco said rigid safety rules were needed in the inherently hazardous underground environment.
It has been revealed one of the sacked miners, Stephen Dixon, had referred his case to Fair Work Australia.
Those taking part had considered safety before making the video, and had performed it during a meal break, Mr Hammond said.
"Around town, opinion seems to be very, very split as to whether or not these miners should have been sacked," he said.
"In making these comments I am talking about what people think politically. Everywhere you go people are discussing whether it was right or wrong for the company to have sacked those who engaged in what was a 31-second dance.
"Mr Dixon did consider safety. They left their steel capped boots on, they left their headlamps on and left the self-rescuers on before they engaged in the Harlem Shake.
"Doing a dance on the spot, jumping up and down gyrating, to me personally, was not a harmful act."
Mr Hammond said 14 or 15 men had been sacked over the dance, eight who actually danced and six or seven who watched.
He said no one would disagree with Barminco that safety was paramount in mining, but it was yet to be seen whether the men contravened any safety requirements.
Mr Dixon told The West Australian newspaper he was a dedicated worker, not a clown, and the workers had been anxious about their job security when they performed the dance to "let off steam".
More than 10,000 Harlem Shake videos - based on the track by electronic musician Baauer - had been posted online by the middle of last month. The internet "meme" was originated by five teenagers from Queensland, registered on YouTube as TheSunnyCoastSkate.