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Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd has faced legal action resulting in a fine due to a workplace incident in 2019 that led to the death of coal miner David Routledge after a mine wall collapse.
Details of the Incident
David Routledge, a 55-year-old worker, died on June 26, 2019, when he was buried by a collapsing high wall during excavation operations at Middlemount Mine, located southwest of Mackay.
In a recent hearing, Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd admitted to failing to meet its health and safety obligations. The case, which involved 47 witness statements, was re-evaluated after a late expert report prompted a shift in the company’s legal stance.
Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims
The Industrial Magistrates Court in Mackay fined the company $70,000 with no convictions recorded. The prosecution had suggested a fine up to $400,000 with convictions due to the gravity of the oversight. However, the defense emphasized that despite the absence of a finalized Ground Control Management Plan, extensive safety procedures were in place.