A mine worker has had his arm crushed at BMA’s Broadmeadow underground coal mine near Moranbah in central Queensland.
The man’s colleagues raised the alarm on Sunday night after noticing he had not returned underground following a trip to collect equipment.
A search for the employee discovered he was trapped, his left arm was crushed between a cable reel and the cable reeler.
The man had been stuck there for over an hour, CFMEU district president Steven Smyth told Australian Mining.
“He’s very lucky; he was stuck for over an hour. As bad as it is he is fortunate to not have far worse injuries,” Smyth said.
Paramedics were quickly called to free the injured worker who is now reported to be in a stable condition in the Mackay Base Hospital.
The ABC reported that Queensland state government mines inspectors are currently investigating the incident to determine how it happened.
Industrial disputes have in the past been somewhat of a constant at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s coal mines in Queensland, causing significant slumps in the miner’s coal output and also contributing to its forced closure of the Norwich Park coal mine.
One of the primary issues which fuelled the stalemate between the mine’s owner and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) was concerns for employee safety.
Last July Australian Mining reported the unions had rejected an annual five per cent pay raise over three years, as well as a massive bonus and superannuation increase, showing that the dispute as they say is "not about the money".
It was instead as they claimed an issue of worker rights and worker safety, as the unions continue to fight for housing rights, working hours, and their choice of safety officers on site.
The CFMEU and BHP came to an agreement last October when the central Queensland coal miners accepted BHP’s enterprise agreement which included protections on safety, housing and rostering and boosts superannuation contributions.
Following this accident the CFMEU has today called on BMA to thoroughly investigate this incident and ensure these types of accidents do not happen again.
“We won’t compromise on safety, we won’t do deals on safety and we expect the employer BMA to ensure there’s a safe place of work for all our members and workers,” Smyth said.
“This incident is very unfortunate; this worker is very, very lucky that it wasn’t worse then what has resulted.
“BMA needs to ensure these types of accidents don’t occur and investigate it thoroughly,” he said.
BHP was not available for comment at the time of publication.