Seven Mine, Quarry Workers Have Died In Queensland Since Mid-2018
The mining union has called for serious changes after a seventh worker has died on the job in Queensland in just 18 months.
Emergency crews were called to the Carborough Downs mine site at Coppabella, in the Bowen Basin north of Rockhampton, just before midnight on Monday.
Paramedics arrived to find a 57-year-old man suffering critical injuries. He died at the scene.
All operations at the site have been suspended as police and other authorities investigate the incident.
The worker's death isn't being treated as suspicious.
The mine's owner, Fitzroy Australia Resources, said the worker's family has been notified.
"We are deeply saddened by this news and Fitzroy extends our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the worker," chief executive Grant Polwarth said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Queensland government has vowed to get to the bottom of the incident.
"My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the miner," Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said in a statement, confirming an inspector was already on-site conducting a full investigation.
The death is the seventh at Queensland mines and quarries in the past 18 months, five of which were in coal mining.
Stephen Smyth, mining and energy president of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union says it's seven too many.
"Operators need to start putting safety before production," he told 10 daily.
"There’s got to be some sterner action taken ... Don’t give them any more chances, they’ve had enough chances."
He explained the laws in Queensland were among the most advanced in the world but said that "it's about the enforcement of the rules".
A series of fatal incidents in mines and quarries across the state triggered a crisis meeting between mining bosses, unions and the Queensland Government in July.
Two reviews, one into all mine and quarry deaths over the past two decades, and the second reviewing the state mining health and safety legislation are on track to be completed in the coming weeks.
The state government is also considering extending industrial manslaughter laws to the sector.
While Smyth said he couldn't comment on Monday's fatality, he said there are a number of issues he wanted to see addressed within the sector.
"From the surveys and research in the industry, the type of employment, lack of site supervision, experience, training -- it all needs to be looked at. There is a lot of stuff going on in this space," he said.
Smyth has called for more "deterrents" and a better hiring policy.
"The coal operators who do business in all states need to be employing people, particularly people who look after health and safety as permanent employees instead of hiring them on contracts," he said.
He offered his condolences to the worker's family, friends and colleagues.
"We can't leave any stone unturned to find out what happened, how it happened and to make sure it doesn’t happen again," Smyth said.