Mine company to hold internal review after two deaths in 12 months

The mining sector is mourning again and companies were facing serious questions about safety after the death of a worker over the weekend at the Moranbah North coal mine in central Queensland.

Mar 28, 2022, updated Mar 28, 2022
Latest research shows that Australians have been working longer for less. (Photo: Mastermyne)

Latest research shows that Australians have been working longer for less. (Photo: Mastermyne)

The mine’s owner, Anglo Australian Coal, was criticised last year by a Coal Board inquiry which found there had been an “unacceptable level of risk” at its Grosvenor mine in 2020 when five workers were seriously burnt.

Last month, the Queensland Workplace and Safety Prosecutor decided to not progress with any charges over the incident after what it said was a comprehensive investigation.

The decision outraged the union, the mining and energy division of the CFMEU.

The worker killed on the weekend was an employee with mining services provider Metarock (previously Mastermyne). It said this morning that operations at the Anglo-owned mine had been suspended until further notice and it had commissioned an independent organisational review following the incident, but also with reference to the death of a worker at the Crinum mine last year.

Metarock issued a statement this morning which said it was carrying out an independent investigation into the incident and was working with Anglo.

Managing director Tony Caruso said it had been working on the mine site for 15 years and was providing assistance to the family and workers.

“Safety is one of our central values,” Caruso said.

“We have operated for over 25 years without the loss of life on our projects and to have two in a short space of time is unacceptable.

“We will undertake a thorough, independent review of our safety systems and practices across the organisation to understand where we can improve our systems and approach to further reduce the risks of serious safety incidents.”

He said the scope of the review would be across its businesses and any recommendations would be intended to be implemented immediately.

Anglo chief executive Tyler Mitchelson said the company was devastated by the death and it would work with authorities to understand the cause.

The worker died after suffering head injuries during a lifting incident.

The shuttering of the mine led to Metarock shares falling 11 per cent this morning.

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