MANGOOLA Coal Operations will pay more than $464,000 as an alternative to potential prosecution over a 2016 workplace incident.
The Department of Planning and Environment’s Resources Regulator has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the company that includes “a range of initiatives with a financial commitment of at least $371,210”.
Regulator costs push that figure up to $464,719, the Department of Planning and Environment said in a statement.
The agreement relates to an October 2016 incident at the mine west of Muswellbrook that left a worker injured after the cabin and cabin riser of the 250-tonne excavator he was driving dislodged and tipped off the side of the machine with him still inside at about 8.45pm.
The report on the incident says the operator, who had worked at the mine for six years and was experienced, suffered minor injuries and was freed by the mine’s emergency response team.
“Had the cabin not come to rest on the tracks, the cabin and operator may have fallen further, potentially to the coal seam floor,” the regulator’s report on the incident states.
“The operator indicated he was in the cabin for approximately 15 minutes.”
In its decision on the enforceable undertaking, the Resources Regulator notes the worker is yet to return to the mine full-time.
The enforceable undertaking is a legally binding agreement put forward by the company. It also includes funding for community services and mobility in nearby Denman.
“The undertaking will provide training to all Mangoola maintenance workers and staff in human organisational factors in maintenance,” the regulator said in a statement.
“Resources developed during the undertaking will also be made available to the broader mining industry to share the lessons learned and enhance industry safety.”
NSW Resources Regulator chief compliance officer Anthony Keon said the agreement was struck after careful consideration because it provided better outcomes than prosecution alone.
"This case serves as a timely reminder to mining operators of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act," Mr Keon said.
"The undertaking is considered significant and will provide tangible benefits to the mining industry and the community."
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