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Authority probes Qld coal worker death while towing

BHP ute
BHP ute

A vehicle that fatally pinned a contractor is the subject of an official investigation.

Authorities have released preliminary findings from the recent death of Luke O’Brien at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Saraji South coal mine in Dysart, 267km south of Mackay.

Investigators are trying to determine why the 27-year-old used a light vehicle to tow a bogged B double fuel truck in the mine fuel bay area. O’Brien used a Toyota LandCruiser ute that accidentally rolled back onto him at about 1:30pm on 15 January 2024. He suffered catastrophic injuries and was transported to hospital for emergency medical treatment but passed away later that same evening.

“Early indications suggest the light vehicle was being set up to tow a B-double that had become bogged. When the light vehicle was reversed it crushed the coal mine worker against the B double,” Resources Safety and Health Queensland said in a safety alert.

“[We are still trying to determine] why a light vehicle was used for an attempt to tow a bogged B double, how the light vehicle collided with the coal mine worker, and why and how the now deceased coal mine worker was in the position where the incident occurred.”

Site senior executives were urged to ensure coal employees and supervisors use risk controls in the safety and health management system for all work activities.

Click here to read the full safety alert.

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