WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
A Queensland mining worker had a finger partially amputated after a colleague mistakenly thought the man’s hands were clear before starting equipment.
Mining safety regulator, Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), has revealed injuries to hands and finders are the most common injuries in the mining industry.
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RSHQ advised since the beginning of 2023, there have been 55 serious incidents reported at Queensland mines, and of those, 28 involved fingers.
“It’s just not good enough,” RSHQ’s Chief Inspector of Coal Mines Jacques le Roux.
“Especially when we know these injuries are preventable.”
The coal miner’s partial amputation occurred in the Bowen Basin in August after the mistake by the rig operator.
The finger was reattached to the man in Moranbah Hospital.
The safety regulator said of the 55 serious incidents reported at Queensland coal mines in 2023, 28 involved fingers. Credit: 7NEWS
“Even though these injuries are not life-threatening, they have a serious impact on the lives of workers,” le Roux said.
“Because hands are complex body parts, they don’t always perform the same way, or as well, after they have been seriously injured, even after rehabilitation.”
In a statement, RSHQ said a quarter of the reported serious accidents with fingers involve risky activities including lifting, slinging and towing.
The body has recommended each site implement a “hands-free” work initiative.
RSHQ said a quarter of the reported serious accidents with fingers involve risky activities Credit: 7NEWS
“Hands are often the body part nearest to a hazard, so risk controls need to focus on lowering the exposure of hands to hazards that can cause serious injury,” Le Roux said.
Mining injuries are not new to Queensland workers, with multiple injuries and deaths occurring every year.
Earlier in the month, a 55-year-old man died after being crushed in a bulldozer rollover near a mine worksite in rural Queensland.
On February 15, mine workers Dylan Langridge, 33, and Trevor Davis, 36, died when their vehicle plummeted into a deep hole about 100m underground.
In 2018, 21-year-old Connor Milne was crushed to death while removing rocks by hand from a rotating tail pulley at the Campbell Milne at Fairfield Quarry in Clermont.
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