State govt Mining Inspectorate to investigate fatality at central Qld coal mine
Mining accidents in Queensland
Two contractors working at the Dawson central Qld coal mine were involved in a horrific accident this week. Police said a man was killed and another man injured when a tyre exploded about 4am Monday morning.
The injured man, who was just 21 years old, received suspected fractures to his collarbone and shoulder and was driven to nearby Theodore Hospital where he was expected to receive additional medical attention at Brisbane hospital.
Investigation into tyre explosion at central Qld coal mine
A spokesman for the Queensland Government’s Mining Inspectorate, the agency that will lead the investigation into the explosion, said mine owner Anglo-American voluntarily closed the mine after the fatality occurred.
“At this point in time our focus will be on ensuring the safety of all people at the mine site while the incident is being managed”, they said.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union says the circumstances of the Dawson mine incident are still being established.
CFMEU senior vice president Mitch Hughes told AAP it wasn’t clear if the incident happened during a tyre change or whether the men were simply standing beside the truck when the tyre exploded.
He said a number of factors could cause tyres on large mining vehicles to explode, including damage caused by rocks, heat, and general wear and tear.
But he said it was best practice to release pressure from tyres before they were changed to eliminate the risk of explosions.
CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth, who oversees the union’s mining and energy division in Queensland, said mining companies should have learned lessons from previous accidents involving tyre explosions.
“You’d like to think these corporations are actually taking notice of any of the recommendations and the outcomes of any incident and implementing measures at mines so incidents like these and other ones don’t occur,” Mr Smyth said.
Four similar fatalities since 1996
There have been four fatalities involving exploding tyres since 1996 at different mines, the latest in December 2010 at the Foxleigh mine, another central Qld coal mine in the Bowen Basin.
Without knowing the exact circumstances of this incident, when a simple accident like changing a tyre can result in the loss of life, it shows the importance of safety training and also that constant reviewing of safety procedures is a necessity.
Mining accidents can be avoided, it’s up to everyone to do their part and raise the awareness of the risks and hazards that are faced by hundreds of thousands of people employed in mining jobs.
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