Mining work a risky business

AT LEAST 168 workers at mines and quarries were in serious accidents or high-risk situations in June - the month a young man perished at a quarry near Moranbah.

The death of Sean Scovell, 21, at Moranbah South Quarry, underscored how a dot-point list of injuries and near-misses could so easily deliver a tragedy.

Mr Scovell's death is classed as a "mechanical" incident - he was killed when he became caught in a conveyor belt pulley.

Of the 168 incidents reported, 21 involved electricity, 24 included fire and 60 related to vehicles either losing control or hitting one another.

Each case represented a lapse of concentration, bad luck or simply terrible timing.

They are distilled into about 25 words by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines but sites and businesses are not named to discourage secrecy.

One man needed stitches after being hit by a rock thrown by a conveyor belt just as he lifted his hard hat to scratch his forehead

Another was cutting steel when a chunk of the saw blade shattered and flew 7m across the workshop, then bouncing back 2m.

A site "fauna collector" needed anti-venom after he was bitten by a snake he was hunting.

Mines and quarries have an average of about 181 incidents or injuries each month.


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