Resource Pacific has lost its appeal against a miner’s compensation claim, after incidents at the company’s Ravensworth mine resulted in the employee suffering a psychiatric illness.
The miner won the compensation claim, telling the district court that he worried for his safety when he was injured while working on a long wall in 2008.
Although the initial incident resulted in minor physical injuries like cuts and bruises, he said it started to “haunt” him.
His worries grew when a co-worker was injured in 2010 whilst removing a ‘‘staple’’ from the wall.
The miner told the court that he had tried to remove the same staple in a previous shift, The Herald reported.
‘‘I almost immediately started not being able to sleep because of that,’’ he said.
‘‘I thought of my family every night, not being around and I felt extremely unsafe working with the people that I was working with. I didn’t trust them and I didn’t want to be there.’’
He said he called the Xstrata hotline [Xstrata operated the mine at the time] and reported his concerns about onsite safety and drug use by other miners.
He added that his concerns were either disregarded or rejected and that he became known as a troublemaker.
Half way through 2010 the miner claimed he could no longer work at the mine due to a psychological or psychiatric disorder.
He was subsequently awarded damages in 2011 by a district court judge but a stay was placed on that sum while Resources Pacific appealed.
The appeal was dismissed when the NSW Court of Appeal found that the trial judge made no error in law.