Workplace death brings total permanent disability claims to light

Date: Dec 09, 2013

Around the world, governments and organisations have been working to improve the safety of coal miners and the mining and resources extraction industries as a whole.

But these efforts weren't enough to save the life of one woman who was recently performing contract work in a New South Wales coal mine when she died in a collision between two heavy duty vehicles.

The accident occurred at an open cut coal mine in the state's Hunter Valley region just before midnight on Saturday, November 30. Reports show the contractor was driving a light vehicle through the terrain when she collided with a large dump truck also working on site.

The dump truck driver was physically unharmed, but had to be taken to Singleton Hospital to be treated for shock.

A spokesman for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) told reporters an early investigation has uncovered the woman was going through training, and the crash occurred when she turned onto the haulage road near the mine. The dump truck was traveling on the haulage road and didn't have time to avoid the smaller vehicle.

Emergency officials arrived and declared the woman dead at the scene.

Authorities speak out about the workplace accident

Glencore, the company operating the NSW mine, said it has offered counseling to any staff members who may need it, and it is looking into how to ensure all mines are as safe as they can be going forward.

"Our primary concern is for the safety, care and welfare of our employees and we are providing all possible support for the families of the people involved in the incident," the company said in a statement on Sunday. "Staff working at the mine are also being offered counselling."

Several safety inspectors went to the site after the accident, including police and three officials from the NSW Trade and Investment's Mine Safety Investigation Unit.

"I would like to personally extend my condolences to the families, co-workers and employers of those involved in this tragic accident," said Chris Hartcher, NSW Energy Minister.

The mining industry has been the subject of several total permanent disability claims over the years, despite the state's attempts to improve safety in the sector.

Anyone who feels they may be entitled to TPD compensation may want to get in touch with a workplace injuries lawyer to determine what legal options are available.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.