Union blasts miners on safety

A UNION organiser has blasted Anglo Coal for “extremely” poor safety after operations at two Central Queensland mines were shut down due to two accidents within 24 hours.

A dump truck and a ute collided at Dawson coal mine, Moura, on Friday.

At the Callide coal mine, near Biloela, a bulldozer was buried during excavation on Thursday night.

No one was injured in either accident.

The Queensland Government's chief inspector of coal mines Gavin Taylor said the department had suspended operations because of the mines “ineffective safety and health management systems”.

He said both mines would remain suspended until management could satisfy inspectors that work could go ahead without unacceptable risk.

Chris Gilbert, an organiser with the Construction, Forestry and Mining Union, said the systems Anglo Coal had in place for addressing hazards had not been working.

Mr Gilbert said half of their investigations into accidents blamed “operator error”.

Workers were also being asked to do jobs that would have been deemed too unsafe 20 years ago.

Mr Gilbert said in both accidents it was “extremely lucky” that no one was hurt.

“They need to stop and look at what's going on,” he said.

An Anglo Coal spokeswoman said the company was investigating both accidents.

She denied that the bulldozer was “buried” in the accident in Callide and said the operator was able to safely exit the cabin after a small amount of earth from the side of a low wall gave way.

“The safety of all employees and contractors is Anglo-American's number one priority,” she said.



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