Former CQ miner sues for $1.2m for an accident 20 years ago

AN EX-CQ miner is suing his former employer for $1.2m for an accident that happened more than 20 years ago.

Court documents state Mr Busk's employment was terminated by BHP in March last year on the grounds of incapacity arising from a lower back injury.

Mr Busk was employed by BHP Coal Pty Ltd, working at Goonyella Riverside Mine near Moranbah.

He started his career there as a trainee operator and from around 2003 he was shot firer in the blast crew.

The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton, claims the lower back injury stems from an incident at the mine in 1998.

On October 16 of that year, Mr Busk, who was 21 at the time, was working a shift.

It is claimed there had been wet weather and Mr Busk was requested to remove mud from the pit, using a front-end loader.

Another worker was reportedly operating a rear dump truck which became bogged and Mr Busk attempted to help him out.

Mr Busk allegedly got a towing sling and put it over his shoulder, expecting it to unravel behind him however it didn't and instead whipped him in the back suddenly.

Mr Busk claims he immediately felt a sharp pain in his lower back.

It is claimed BHP failed to provide a safe and adequate workplace, plant and equipment, adequate supervision and assistance to Mr Busk and exposed Mr Busk to risk of damage or injury.

It is further claimed BHP should have had risk as­sessments for the use and manual handling of towing slings, the towing sling should have been stored out of the weather as it was wet, implemented a system where at least two workers were ­required to use a towing sling, and provided training to ­employees for the safe manual handling of towing slings.

Mr Busk claims the incident caused him to sustain a spinal injury and psychological disorder.

Over the years, Mr Busk has allegedly been required to seek treatment from his GP, an orthopaedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, physiotherapist, chiropractor and psychologist.

He allegedly has had facet injections and a radio frequency neurotomy procedure.

It is claimed he continues to suffer from pain, stiffness and loss of range of motion in his lower back.

For damages, Mr Busk claims due to his injuries he is not suited to employment he has relevant training and experience for, and is very unlikely to secure a job.

For future economic loss, he is claiming $1,025,100.00.

Other claims are for superannuation loss and ­future, past economic loss, special damages, future paid care, treatment and pharmaceutical expenses.

The total he is suing for is $1,297,586.30.

The lawsuit for damages for personal injuries as a result of negligence and/or breach of contract/statutory duty was filed on January 10 by Meghan Rothery, of Maurice Blackburn Rockhampton.

A defence has not yet been filed.

BHP has declined to comment as it is a matter before the courts.