AMSJ » Coal contractor should be charged for shutting down safety says industry

Coal contractor should be charged for shutting down safety says industry

Coal mine

A mining services company could be formally accused of interfering with computer systems in Queensland’s Central Highlands region.

An industry group recently demanded that Mastermyne be charged for a high potential incident at Sojitz Blue’s Gregory Crinum Coal Mine in Lilyvale, 332km west of Rockhampton.

In a letter to the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) called for charges to be laid against contracted workers who turned off ventilation and gas monitoring systems back in December 2022.

“MEU is recommending charges against three employees involved in turning off the systems without authorisation for breaching the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act, which states workers or any person at a mine has an obligation ‘not to anything wilfully or recklessly that might adversely affect the safety and health of someone else at the mine,'” a spokesperson said in a public statement.

MEU Queensland district president Mitch Hughes believes enforcement will bring justice for affected colleagues and loved ones too.

“Grieving families and communities have heard too many times that charges have been dropped, or cases are held up for years on end,” he said.

The prosecutor was earlier asked to sue Mastermyne over the death of employee Graham Dawson at the same mine.

The experienced labour hire worker died after the mine roof collapsed and crushed him back on 14 September 2021. A rescue crew took four days to recover the 60-year-old’s body.

MEU claimed industry safety and health representatives found Mastermyne’s strata control systems inadequately prevented strata failure, which was allegedly responsible for killing Dawson.

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CORRECTION: AMSJ previously reported the employees accused of shutting down ventilation and gas monitoring systems during December 2022 worked for Sojitz Blue. The employees worked for contractor Mastermyne Group. AMSJ has amended the article to reflect the correct information.

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