September 21, 2022
Our Queensland District has formally requested the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor pursue a prosecution against labour hire company Mastermyne over the death of coal miner Graham Dawson in September last year.
Graham Dawson was an experienced 60-year-old underground miner who was killed after the roof of the Crinum Mine collapsed and crushed him on 14 September last year. It took four days for Graham’s body to be recovered.
Inquiries by the Union’s Industry Safety and Health Representative indicate that Mastermyne’s strata control systems were inadequate to prevent the strata failure that killed Mr Dawson.
Mastermyne manages the whole production workforce at Crinum underground mine.
The Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor has not yet announced any charges over Mr Dawson’s death.
Queensland District President Stephen Smyth said Graham’s family deserves justice and all coal miners deserve to know that people in charge will be held accountable for their safety at work.
“On too many occasions of fatalities and serious injuries, no charges have been laid or charges have been laid and then withdrawn – with no explanation to mining communities about why this has happened,” he said.
“People feel that the lives of coal miners are not valued.”
Mastermyne recorded a second workplace fatality less than seven months later when Gavin Feltwell was killed at Anglo American’s Moranbah North Mine.
Mastermyne conducted a safety review finding that there were no major flaws in its operations. Stephen Smyth said despite these findings it has been revealed that the mine’s principal hazard management plan failed to identify preventative controls for hazards and the scope of their hazard management plan was inadequate.
“The company was grossly neglectful. Not only by not having an adequate plan to keep workers safe, but also by not acting on recommendations to improve safety for workers, until it was too late.
“We are pursuing a prosecution because Queensland coal communities deserve explanations as to why these agencies decide against seeking justice for the families and workmates who are left to pick up the pieces after these devastating incidents.”