Hearing into Hunter miner death to begin next week

The hearing into the death of Hunter Valley miner Daniel Hill is set to begin next week.

The hearing into the death of Hunter Valley miner Daniel Hill is set to begin next week.

The court has heard Hill, 34, was fatally injured while assisting with maintenance work on the longwall in the Integra Coal underground mine at Glennies Creek near Singleton on April 4, 2009.

He was struck in the head by a coupling while repairing the machine, Newcastle Herald reports.

Justice Roger Boland allowed the prosecution to make changes to charges against two mining companies yesterday, enabling a four-week hearing in the NSW Industrial Court to begin next Monday.

The decision allowed the prosecutor to specify what the companies should have done to minimise the risk of this type of accident occurring.

According to the Newcastle Herald the specifications included having systems in place which allow workers to align the new shear shaft while coal shearer isn’t connected to power, and an audit system implemented to check workers weren’t replacing shear shafts while power was connected.

It also specified a system should be in place where employees responsible to changing the shaft should have to read and initial a statement outlining the safest way to conduct the repair.

The companies argued that it was to close to the hearing for changes to the charges to be made.

Both Glennies Creek Coal Management and Integra Coal Operations have pleaded not guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of not ensuring employee safety.

At the Coroners inquest into the accident held last year, Integra’s counsel stated the company believed it was the failure of its employees to follow procedures rather than the company's lack of procedures that was the main cause of Hill's death.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.