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Close call for truck driver

The driver of this rear dump truck escaped uninjured after partly reversing into a blast hole during a night shift at Goonyella Riverside coal mine on Monday.
The driver of this rear dump truck escaped uninjured after partly reversing into a blast hole during a night shift at Goonyella Riverside coal mine on Monday. Contributed

A TRUCK driver had a close call at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Goonyella Riverside mine after reversing into a blast hole.

The rear dump truck was backing under a digger during night shift on Monday when the driver partly reversed into the hole, resulting in the vehicle's right front wheel being suspended in the air.

The incident comes little more than a month after a similar incident at BMA's Saraji mine, near Dysart, in which a water truck crashed into a dig face and ended up on its two back wheels.

A Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) mines spokesman said investigations were under way.

"An incident has been reported from the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's Goonyella Riverside open cut coal mine, about 30km north of Moranbah," he said.

"A wheel of a rear dump truck sank into a soft spot on an overburden dump.

"The incident occurred yesterday about 10.30pm.

"No one was injured.

"The incident was reported to the Mines Inspectorate (yesterday) morning.

"A further report from the company on the incident will be made to the Mines Inspectorate."

Mackay Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) president Stephen Smyth said the incident illustrated some of the issues miners were unhappy about with the BMA agreement.

"Employees are afraid to report on accidents like this," Mr Smyth said.

"People are fearful of their jobs because mine companies will come down on people like a tonne of bricks if they report on incidents like this.

"When there is a fear of retribution, people won't report it.

"If workers were employed directly by the mining company, rather than recruitment offices, they might feel safer in their jobs; but at the moment they are there one day and gone the next."

Mr Smyth said the safety of entire mine sites was jeopardised when workers were scared to report on mining accidents.

BMA was unable to comment on the incident late last night.

Topics:  accident bhp billiton mitsubishi alliance deedi


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