Injured coal miner Wayne Sellars, badly burned in the explosion at the Grosvenor mine at Moranbah on May 6 2020, arrives to give evidence at the coal mining board of inquiry, Brisbane 7th of April 2021. (Image/Josh Woning)
Injured coal miner Wayne Sellars, badly burned in the explosion at the Grosvenor mine at Moranbah on May 6 2020, arrives to give evidence at the coal mining board of inquiry, Brisbane 7th of April 2021. (Image/Josh Woning)

Workers’ concerns about Grosvenor sometimes ignored: Miner

A miner injured in the Grosvenor blast has told an inquiry into the disaster he believed senior management did not always listen to workers' concerns about the longwall face.

Wayne Sellars, who was one of five workers injured in the Grosvenor mine blast on May 6 2020, started to give evidence to the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry on Wednesday afternoon.

Counsel assisting the board Ruth O'Gorman asked Mr Sellars whether concerns he and fellow workers raised about the longwall face were dealt with to their satisfaction.

"Not all the time," Mr Sellars responded.

"We asked to pump and they'd come back and we would just be told to keep going.

"You'd get frustrated. You just kept voicing (your concerns) to the deputy."

The inquiry heard workers had to pump the longwall face to improve difficult conditions created when they were cutting through a fault.

Injured Grosvenor miner Wayne Sellars speaks at the Queensland coal mining board of inquiry.
Injured Grosvenor miner Wayne Sellars speaks at the Queensland coal mining board of inquiry.

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The inquiry heard this action was also taken to improve the conditions for workers underground.

"We would request to pump, we were in control of the face, we see the conditions worsening and just for our safety, we would request the pump," Mr Sellars said.

The inquiry heard Grosvenor mine management would not always approve workers' requests to do this.

"Sometimes they would just try to struggle through," Mr Sellars said.

He said the mine lost "time and money" while workers were pumping the longwall face.

When asked why he believed longwall 104 had more methane exceedances compared to other longwalls, Mr Sellars responded: "we were mining through a fault and (it had) bad strata too".

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