Coal company fined $400,000 over scraper conveyer injury

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Wednesday, 5 October, 2022 - 12:45
Incidents & prosecutions
New South Wales

Endeavour Coal was recently fined $400,000 over an incident on 8 June 2019 when a worker suffered serious and permanent injuries to his toes and foot after becoming entangled in a scraper conveyor at Appin North mine.

The fine was reduced by 25 per cent to $300,000 to reflect the early plea of guilty.

Endeavour Coal was fined and convicted by the District Court of NSW for a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to ensure the health and safety of workers when it exposed them to the risk of serious injury or death, as a result of a body part coming in contact with dangerous moving parts of an energised scraper conveyor.

The Resources Regulator’s executive director Peter Day said the Court’s decision emphasised the importance of protecting workers and highlighted the hazards associated with the operation of plant underground.

“This incident highlights the need for operators to ensure that all plant is subject to operational risk assessment,” Day said.

“Our investigation identified there were poor management and controls in place at the colliery, coupled with a poor handover to new team members.

“A number of documented systems of work designed to protect against the risk which eventuated were not implemented in practice.

“Mine operators should thoroughly read our investigation report and ensure they implement the recommendations to reduce the risk of injuries from conveyors and other equipment with moving parts.”