Middlemount Mine

Incident Type

Wall collapse resulting in fatality

Date of Incident

June 26, 2019

Total Workers Involved

1 (David Routledge)

Total Fatalities

1 (David Routledge)

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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.

Operational Context

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.

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