Coal miner fined for dangerous actions

A North Goonyella coal mine site supervisor has been fined for turning off a methane sensor on an underground LHD.

 A North Goonyella coal mine site supervisor has been fined for turning off a methane sensor on an underground LHD.

Robert Danger was fined $15 000 after his actions, which “exposed himself and other workers to an unacceptable level of risk”, the Daily Mercury reports.

“The underground mining industry is inherently dangerous and those involved in the industry should be able to operate with confidence and have faith in the system to ensure that appropriate safety measures are implemented, monitored, and enforced,” industrial magistrate Ron Muirhead said.

Danger was reportedly not authorised to control the methane sensor system, and has since been fired.

Explosive risk zone controller Kevin Casey was also fined $1500 for failing to report unauthorised use of the over ride key, and was also fired from North Goonyella.

The incident occurred on 4 February 2010, while a miner was operating an LHD, which poses an explosion risk.

It was fitted with a sensor that would sound an alarm when methane reached levels of 1%, and shut the vehicle down when methane reached levels of 1.25% or higher.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly noticed the methane readings go above 1% and witnessed the vehicle shut down once it reach1.25%.

Danger gave the driver an over ride key to shutdown the system and allowed the miner to continue working for another half hour.

Around this time Casey noticed a reading of 1.1% on the Eimco LHD, so pulled it over.

He saw that it had been put into bypass mode and that Danger had over rode the system.

Casey then switched it on and told the driver to leave the area.

However following this Casey failed to make an incident report, or make a statutory report at the end of the day.

Both men were fined under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act.

Since the incident both men have obtained new jobs in the industry.      

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