A worker operating a cherry picker has died after being crushed against an under-construction coal crusher in northern NSW on Wednesday. The construction contractor, in his 30’s, was in the open cabin work platform at the Boggabri mine site when he was killed.
Police said the man was 15 meters above the ground when he was crushed against a “metal structure” above him at 8.50 am.
The Boggabri Coal and Whitehaven open cut coal mines
The accident occurred at a construction site several kilometres from the open cut mine 60kms north of Gunnedah.
He suffered “traumatic head and neck injuries” and went into a “traumatic cardiac arrest” when paramedics arrived, a NSW Ambulance spokesperson said. He died at the scene.
The Telegraph understands the man was from the Gold Coast area and had a young family.
The rigger was working on the Thiess Sedgman Joint Venture Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) or “coal crusher” at the Idemitsu Australia mine. The mine is a subsidiary of Japanese firm Idemitsu Kosan.
Construction of the coal crusher, to increase output at the mine by two million tonnes per year, began late last year. The $186 million project is due for completion in mid-2015.
Five NSW Trade & Investment’s Mine Safety Investigation Unit inspectors have been sent to the mine to investigate and police are preparing a report for the Coroner.
CFMEU northern districts president Peter Jordan said the death was another tragedy after two miners died near Cessnock last month.
“It’s devastating for the coal industry to have another fatality,” Mr Jordan said.
The Boggabri mine has more than 150 workers and was the scene of several anti-mining protests over the past year.