Mine union welcomes Paul McGuire inquest findings
THE mining union has welcomed the inquest findings into the death of Paul McGuire at a central Queensland underground mine but said “it had taken too long” to uncover the “disturbing” facts.
It has been six years since the tragedy at Anglo’s Grasstree mine.
On May 6, 2014 the 34 year old was wrongly directed to a mine goaf – due to inaccurate information on a job card – while calibrating gas sensors.
He died after opening a hatch to the goaf and inhaling irrespirable methane-filled air.
Coroner David O’Connell found “grossly deficient” record keeping at the mine directly led to Mr McGuire’s death and further referred a former outbye electrician to the Department of Natural Recourses, Mining and Energy for further investigation and possible action.
“The coronial inquest has not only resolved questions about how Paul McGuire died, it has exposed a culture of poor record-keeping in regard to safety issues,” CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said.
The coroner found the father of two had been sent to the area due to errors in the mine’s job card system, which had not been kept up to date.
“The long wait for answers shows that tragic incidents like these must be fully investigated,” Mr Smyth said.
“Justice delayed is justice denied, and we now face another wait to find out if the department will proceed with a prosecution against the individual named in the Coroner’s report.
“Workers need to be safe, and managers need to be accountable for safety on their watch.
“New laws extending Industrial Manslaughter provisions into the mining industry, which were passed last week by the Queensland parliament, will mean that managers who fail to keep their workers safe can now face jail time.
“Too many workers like Paul McGuire have lost their lives in Queensland mines – we must do everything possible to stop these tragedies from happening in the future.”