David Routledge with his grandchildren.
David Routledge with his grandchildren.

Year on from Middlemount tragedy: Report sheds new light

A NEW report will shed light on the details and events leading up to the death of beloved South Mackay grandfather David Routledge at Middlemount Mine last year.

A year on from his tragic death, the Daily Mercury can reveal a report into his death will be made public in the coming weeks.

A Queensland Mines Inspectorate spokesman said an investigation into the fatal incident at Middlemount Mine on June 26, 2019, had been completed.

"QMI is now in the process of finalising the actions and recommendations that will be handed down as a result of this investigation," the spokesman said.

"The health and safety of Queensland's mine workers is the priority of the QMI and also the Queensland Government.

"In pursuing its vision of zero serious harm, the regulator will commence a prosecution when it is in the public interest and there is sufficient evidence to secure a conviction."

David Routledge died at Middlemount Mine on June 26, 2019.
David Routledge died at Middlemount Mine on June 26, 2019.

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Mr Routledge died after a high wall collapsed while he was operating an excavator at the mine.

A mines safety alert issued by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy in July last year revealed fallen material engulfed the excavator Mr Routledge was operating, which partially crushed the excavator cabin.

The safety alert stated the 55-year-old miner was fatally injured after an adjacent pit wall about 40 metres high "suddenly failed".

The department put forward seven recommendations for mine sites following the tragedy.

Harry Bruce's cartoon
Harry Bruce's cartoon Harry Bruce

A spokesman for mine operator Middlemount Coal said employees planted a poinciana tree at the mine's cultural centre on Friday in honour of Mr Routledge.

Staff and work crews paused for a minute's silence and many wore black arm bands in memory of their mate and colleague.

As a mark of respect to killed Mackay miner David Routledge, mining industry workers have changed their Facebook profile photos to the above image.
As a mark of respect to killed Mackay miner David Routledge, mining industry workers have changed their Facebook profile photos to the above image.

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The spokesman said EAP counsellors were stationed at the site all day Friday to provide assistance to employees.

"A year on from David's death, the safety of the Middlemount workforce remains the company's top priority," he said.

"Middlemount has investigated the incident and has fully co-operated with the Queensland Government's investigation."


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