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Attwood Marshall Lawyers take legal action over death of boilermaker at North Queensland site

Mining compensation claim

Attwood Marshall Lawyers is taking legal action for a mining worker who suffered severe psychiatric injury as the first responder to the tragic fatality of his boiler-maker colleague at a Queensland mine in 2017.

Tweed Heads man Jesse Abbott, 28, was working with Daniel Springer (pictured), 30, on an excavator bucket at Goonyella Riverside Mine on 5 August 2017 when Mr Springer was fatally injured.

Shortly before 1am, Mr Springer was removing a large external wear plate by cutting it into smaller pieces when a section sprang back, striking him in the head and causing fatal injury.

Mr Abbott was working on the same bucket, and rushed to Mr Springer’s aid. Unfortunately, the father-of-one was critically injured and died later at Townsville Base Hospital.

Supported by Attwood Marshall Lawyers, Mr Abbott appeared at a Coronial Inquest in the incident, on March 2, 2020, and later told media the accident “should never have happened”.

“Today has been a long time coming; we need to get answers. I want Justice for Daniel and I want closure for his family,” Mr Abbott said.

READ the story – Compensation Law Accredited Specialist, Jeremy Roche, speaks to Daily Mercury

Since witnessing the horrific incident, Mr Abbott has been severely affected by psychiatric injury and remains unable to work.

“I had my whole life planned up there in Mackay and after this horrific incident I lost everything and the job I loved because I had to go home and live off my mum,” Mr Abbott said.

Attwood Marshall Lawyers acts on behalf of Mr Abbott to claim compensation for his injuries and to ensure he is able to regain some quality of life after witnessing the tragic and confronting workplace fatality.

Our thoughts are with Mr Abbott and particularly the family and friends of Mr Springer at this difficult time.

‘Fatality cycle’ behind Queensland’s avoidable mining deaths: report

According to a review of the mining sector made public by the state government in February, avoidable mining deaths in Queensland are attributable to a ‘fatality cycle’. The fatality cycle is a pattern in which there is a cyclical increase then decrease in mining sector vigilance and safety measures following workplace mining deaths. It appears that heightened vigilance and safety measures are only observed for a short time after mining deaths before those measures again decrease.

The report, Review of all fatal accidents in Queensland mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019, by author and forensic structural engineer Dr Sean Brady, reviews a total of 47 deaths in Queensland’s mines and quarries from 2000 to 2019. It follows the deaths of eight mine and quarry workers in Queensland over the past two years.

The report offers 11 recommendations on what the mining industry should be doing to decrease fatalities, and they include: the industry recognising its fatality cycle and accepting that fatalities are avoidable, a focus on ensuring workers are efficiently trained and supervised in their tasks, more effectiveness in managing hazards, adopting principles of High-Reliability Organisational Theory (HRO), and new methods in reviewing and reporting safety hazards.

The report was commissioned last year by Queensland government mines minister Anthony Lynham, who in February proposed new laws which could see mine and quarry executives facing 20 years in jail if found guilty of industrial manslaughter.

Two government committees will take Brady’s review, alongside two University of Queensland reviews, into consideration before recommending industry changes to Lynham.

Read more: WorkCover rejected my claim: What should I do?

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Jeremy Roche

Jeremy Roche

  • Compensation Lawyer
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Direct line: 07 5506 8222
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