Mine worker to pay fine for 2009 accident

A miner with 40 years experience who accidentally ran over a co-worker three years ago will have to pay a fine, after already losing his career.

In 2009, Adrian Morrissey was working at Anglo Coal’s Bundoora Mine near Middlemount, driving a 32-tonne shuttle car when he accidentally reversed over Ian Girle, aged 51, the Mackay Daily Mercury reports.

Girle had approached Morrissey on foot and asked him to move the shuttle car he was driving, conveying mud from a sump in the mine surface, backwards.

Girle then walked to the back of the shuttle car and stayed within a metre of the side, which Morrissey did not expect.

Morrissey accidentally ran over him and has pleaded guilty in the Industrial Magistrates Court yesterday to failing in his workplace, safety and obligations by causing grievous bodily harm.

Girle sustained compound fractures of his left leg and both sides of his pelvis in the accident and lost a large amount of skin.

He was in Rockhampton Base Hospital for a month and required a pin inserted into his leg, and still needs painkillers and may need more surgery.

He has also been limited to administration duties.

Up until the accident, Morrissey had been a highly regarded employee with over 40 years experience in mines and numerous licences and tickets and his solicitor Patrick Heilmer said Morrissey has already lost his successful career from the incident.

He was also an active member of the local community with service to schools, sports clubs and the elderly, Heilmer said.

He said there was no intentional disregard of safety and his client was not attempting to drive over an 11 000 volt cable, which would have been extremely dangerous if broken.

A fine between $10 000 and $15 000 has been requested by the prosecution, but his Morrissey’s solicitor said his client could not afford to pay such a sum and has instead requested a penalty of around $1000.

Sentencing has been adjourned until 13 May for more submissions to be prepared regarding the penalty.

In 2007, a similar accident with a shuttle car occurred at the mine, killing 33-year-old Jason Blee.

Image: The Mackay Daily Mercury

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