Busy areas such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast are not the only places where accidents occur. Sometimes, a work accident can happen to a friend or family member while they are hundreds of kilometres away from you.
In particular, mining accidents and injuries can be a tragic experience for a worker and his family. Many people already struggle with the difficult hours and the very limited times they have off work to be with their families.
Miners, including Fly in, Fly out (FIFO) and Drive in, Drive out (DIDO) workers all make an admirable sacrifice for their family and lifestyle when they choose to pursue one of the most potentially dangerous professions available to people in Queensland.
This is why it is so important for every worker to know their legal rights. An accident can seriously affect your ability to make an income and if you are unable to work for an extended period of time, the financial difficulties can be disastrous after taking into account medical costs and other out of pocket expenses such as attendant care or home-keeping.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Excavators, dump trucks and loaders are constantly busy in the mining area. Collisions between vehicles, stationary objects and people are always a possibility.
This is especially true considering that the mining profession has a constant risk from worker fatigue in the workplace.
When a workplace does not provide adequate training, equipment or safety processes, accidents are more likely to happen with vehicles such as tipping, rollovers and collisions.
Queensland mining workers are subject to the risk of vehicle collisions because of many potential challenges within the mining industry such as poor lighting and visibility, weather, horseplay and other kinds of distractions.
If a mine is not properly secured, there is a chance that it can collapse and cause injury or even death. This is especially true when the mine shafts are excavated deeper and require more stringent safety considerations to protect the mine’s integrity.
Workers need to have proper training and implementations in place in order to protect themselves from other risks such as inhaling toxic fumes or preventing chemical spillages. An employer is expected to provide reasonable safety considerations such as a ventilation system for the mine.
A Cave-in or mining collapse that trap people underground can cause more than just physical injury. There is also the risk of psychological injuries such as depression, stress, workplace bullying or traumatic experiences.
Whole body vibration (WVS) can cause low back pain, bone damage, joint and tendon injuries, muscle injuries and other injuries from workers being exposed to a constantly vibrating environment. Examples like this include sitting in heavy vehicles such as bulldozers or using high power hand tools (which can cause hand arm vibration syndrome or HAVS). HAVS can result in damage to bones, joints and muscles in the fingers, hand, wrist and elbows.
If a person is reckless or ignores safety procedure, operating heavy machinery can be hazardous. Fingers and other extremities can be caught in moving parts of machinery and can occur more often than people think. If a machine is not properly bolted down or restrained, it can also lose balance and tip over.
Burns, lacerations and fractures are only a small example of the number of things that can be caused by faulty equipment. Even though the standard for tools and other equipment is a fitness for proper purpose, sometimes workplaces may be negligent in maintaining their tools in a satisfactory condition to be used by their workers.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Low lighting in the mines, loose dirt, ground hazards such as cables, hoses and ropes and other potential issues can be the cause of a disastrous slip, trip or fall injury. This can often occur in areas such as highwalls, slopes or mine shafts with weak structural integrity. If an area has also had significant water build up, or if it has been raining, the muddy ground can be slippery and even more hazardous to work in.
Gas Explosions, Electrocution & Fires
Inadequate ventilation, improper storage of chemicals and gasses, and faulty equipment are some of the factors that can cause a gas explosion. A single spark may be all that is necessary to ignite flammable materials and gas explosions can occur in coal mines that have pockets of methane gas underground.
Exposure to wet environments also increase the risk of electrical hazards from faulty wiring, frayed cables and lack of proper safety equipment.
Fires can occur from spillage of flammable liquids, as well as gas leaks or intense outdoor heat that ignites flammable materials.
Chemical & Dust Diseases and Injuries
Chemicals may be used to transform mined ores from their natural state into useable commodities for proper purpose. Spillages of these chemicals can come into contact with skin, eyes, or be inhaled, which can lead to disease or injury.
Dust particles that contain asbestos, coal, silica can be inhaled and lead to illnesses such as cancer, chronic bronchitis, silicosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma or obstructive pulmonary disease.
Heavy physical labour in the mining profession can lead to:
- Sprains and strains
- Shoulder, back and neck injuries
- Knee injuries such as bursitis.
- Vibration from equipment and hand-held tools that are utilized overhead may also lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
These injuries can occur during the course of employment from manual lifting, especially in awkward postures from working in confined areas such as mines.
Meniscal tears, bursitis, osteoarthritis and other wear and tear injuries to the knees can be a common mining injury because squatting and kneeling in enclosed areas make it difficult to stretch or avoid situations that can cause injury.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Equipment and mine blasting that causes loud and continuous amounts of noise can lead to damage to the inner structures of the ear and result in permanent hearing loss.
Speaking with an accredited specialist in personal injury is the best way to be informed of your legal rights to compensation if you have been injured while in the course of employment as a miner.
A Brisbane personal injury lawyer will apply the laws to your mining accident and the facts of your situation to assist you with finally receiving the compensation you need.
DO NOT ACCEPT any lump sum offer from WorkCover or your insurance company without first speaking to an accredited specialist in personal injury.
Take advantage of a lawyer’s expertise to avoid compromising your legal rights or missing a critical limitation period. Act now and DO NOT DELAY because strict timelines apply to making a claim.
If you are interested in a free, no obligation case review of your accident and injuries, please contact us or fill in the case review form.