AMSJ » Fatality at Saraji Mine | Reports say Dozer fell from bench

Fatality at Saraji Mine | Reports say Dozer fell from bench

saraji mine
A dozer reportedly fell from a bench at Saraji miner killing the operator

BREAKING NEWS  In the wake of last night’s reported fatality at Saraji mine, AMSJ has been provided with some additional information regarding the incident. We stress at this time the information has not been able to be confirmed, as Police were attempting to contact next of kin and mines inspectors were currently investigating the circumstances of the incident.

We have been advised that last night around 10 pm a dozer supporting a dragline operation rolled from a 20m bench where it was working. Unconfirmed reports say that the dozer rolled before coming to rest in a body of water.

It appears that the operator was deceased at the scene of the incident.

We have been informed that a range of site communication issues had occurred prior to the incident and had been an issue at the site over the last week. We stress that the information is unconfirmed and we will update as further confirmed information comes to hand. BMA operations have been plagued recently with a number of incidents including a Digger falling from a Bench at the Caval Ridge mine.

Saraji Digger
A digger incident also occurred at the Saraji mine in November

Site personnel told AMSJ that there have been a number of cultural issues associated with a number of operations including a high number of greenskin miners and a lack of permanency around many positions with mining companies. “People just don’t give a shit in some mines” one operator said.

More to come……

Updated at 4.47 pm

Statement from BMA

It is with great sadness BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) regrets to advise an incident occurred at Saraji Mine near Moranbah last night which resulted in the death of one of our people.

Details of the incident are still being established and an investigation into the incident is underway.

The site Incident Management Team has been activated, and the emergency services including police are attending the scene. BMA is working closely with the relevant authorities on this incident.

The welfare of the family of the deceased and the safety of our people are our highest priorities.

Operations at Saraji Mine have been suspended until further notice.

BMA’s Employee Assistance Program provider is available to support employees and their families affected by this incident and is contactable on 1800 056 076.

We are deeply saddened by this news and will provide more information as it is available.

Updated at 5.52 pm

CFMEU Responds

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth said news of the fatality would be a blow to the whole mining community.

“We are devastated to start the new year in this way, with a worker not making it home at the end of his shift,” said Mr Smyth.

“On behalf of the Union, we extend our sincere condolences to loved ones and workmates.”

CFMEU Industry Safety and Health Representatives are on site at Saraji conducting their own investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatality.

Mr Smyth called on BHP and the Department of Mines and Natural Resources to ensure their investigations are open and transparent and address all safety concerns at the site.

“We will be talking to our members at Saraji to understand their concerns and make sure they are addressed.

“The company and the regulator have an obligation to investigate this incident thoroughly, as well as  look at the overall safety culture on site.”

Updated 9:53 pm

We have received additional information that the response time from site control was not as originally reported to us and have amended the information within the story to reflect this. The correct information is that the emergency services arrived at site approximately 90 mins following notification of the event. We note however that the confirmed bench height the dozer fell from was approximately 50m.

Updated 10:43pm 2/1/2019

Statement from BMA regarding operator killed

The investigation into an incident at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Saraji Mine, near Moranbah in Queensland, continued today, with BMA working closely with the relevant authorities.  

We are saddened to confirm that 49 year-old Allan Houston from the Rockhampton Region died during an incident where the dozer he was operating at Saraji rolled from an elevated position at around 10pm (Queensland time) on 31st December 2018.  The site Emergency Response Team was activated immediately following the incident and appropriate authorities engaged. 

Allan Houston
Big Al Houston (left) 

BMA said “Our immediate focus is to support Allan’s family and friends as well as our people that may be affected by this incident.  Allan was a well-known and popular member of the Saraji and Workpac team. Allan began his career as an apprentice boilermaker at Blackwater Mine in approximately 1988 and since then, worked in the industry at various mines in Queensland. Allan’s father, Winston, had a long history in the Blackwater region and was a well-known and respected Dragline Operator for many years. Allan’s family is especially proud of his reputation as a highly skilled dozer and dragline operator. 

We extend our deepest sympathy to Allan’s loving mother, 23 year-olddaughter, sister and brother as well as his friends and colleagues. BMA representatives have met with Allan’s family and will continue to provide whatever support possible during this deeply emotional time. 

BMA’s Employee Assistance Program provider is on site supporting all of our people affected by this incident and is contactable on 1800 056 076. 

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  • I would think that you would get a thougher investergation report first your coments on responce of recsue services was not 90mins as you stated it was dramaticly less than your statements pit more pressure on the family and others

    • Thanks Ron, the CFMEU quoted that the time to reach the scene by rescue services was 90 mins. We indicated in our content that the reports were unconfirmed. We now understand that site ERT was on site quicker than this time however, we are unsure of the time that Emergency Services personnel reached the scene. In view of your comment and the time that has passed plus additional information we have received from site personnel, we have amended the story to remove the response time.

AMSJ Nov 2021