BMA Coal Operations will pay $300,000 toward coal mine safety research in Queensland, following an out of court settlement in the Industrial Magistrates Court in Brisbane on 30 January 2008.
The company also agreed to pay $236,000 to the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy for investigation and court costs.
The company had been charged with neglecting its duty of care obligations under Queensland’s Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 over an incident at Goonyella Riverside mine west of Mackay on 28 July 2004.
Maximum fines under the Act were $300,000.
The charges arose after two workers were injured by a large quantity of falling mud while trying to clear a build-up of mud from under the body of a large excavator.
One man suffered a fracture to the lower lumbar area of his spine and a fracture to his right ankle while the other suffered a split spleen that had to be removed.
Under the settlement terms the department will use the $300,000 solely for safety and health research, and for safety and health projects that will benefit the Queensland coal mining industry.
The Department has total discretion in identifying the appropriate research projects.
The site senior executive of Goonyella Riverside mine Ben Zietsman will meet the Department’s Safety and Health Division to explain improvements made in operating procedures at the mine and any additional improvements which were identified in the Mines Inspectorate’s safety investigation report.
Queensland Department of Mines and Energy
Mining Exploration and Development Division