Brad Duxbury was killed at Carborough Downs mine site on November 25, 2019.
Brad Duxbury was killed at Carborough Downs mine site on November 25, 2019.

The two senior managers charged over underground mine death

Two of a CQ mine's most senior managers have been charged with serious safety breaches after underground electrician Brad Duxbury was crushed to death by falling coal while repairing machinery.

A prosecutor has alleged "defective" safety measures at Carborough Downs mine were linked to the fatality.

Jeremy David Futeran and Russel Clive Uhr each held the position of site senior executive at the mine, near Coppabella, in the months leading up to the Ipswich father's tragic death late last year.

Specialist workplace health and safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle has alleged the two men failed to keep the risk to workers was at an acceptable level including by ensuring entry to restricted and no access zones complied with the mine's Safety and Health Management System.

Brad Duxbury was killed when coal fell from spalling on a longwall at Carborough Downs underground mine.
Brad Duxbury was killed when coal fell from spalling on a longwall at Carborough Downs underground mine.

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Documents, filed at Mackay courthouse and viewed by the Daily Mercury revealed "an increased risk of face spall" was identified by November 1 last year on a section of the longwall "due to geological faults".

A month later, on November 25, Mr Duxbury and two co-workers were sent to repair machinery at this particular site. Also at the location were two "flippers", used to help control coal spalling hazards, however they were defective.

Under the mine's SHMS if two or more adjacent flippers were non-operational then certain safety procedures must occur including a remedial plan to be prepared by the longwall superintendent.

Mr Duxbury, 57, had been in a no-access zone while his two co-workers were in a restricted access zone as they carried out repairs. Under the SHMS a number of safety steps had to occur before workers could enter these areas.

Carborough Downs Mine.
Carborough Downs Mine.

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"Consecutive flippers in the vicinity of the area in which the work was being conducted were defective and were not effectively deployed," Mr Guilfoyle said in the files.

About 11.48pm "coal fell from a spall at the coal face" about the site of the defective flippers.

"My Duxbury was struck and pinned under the coal and sustained fatal injuries," the document read.

Mr Futeran was in the top role between August 12 and September 24 before Mr Uhr took over on September 23.

Mr Guilfoyle has alleged the two men, as well as mine operator Carborough Downs Coal Management Pty Ltd, failed to discharge workplace health and safety obligations causing Mr Duxbury's death.

It is alleged Mr Futeran, Mr Uhr and the mine operator failed to ensure all roof shield flippers on that longwall were effective before any work began in that area.

Brad Duxbury in 2011.
Brad Duxbury in 2011.

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Mr Guilfoyle has also alleged the three failed to ensure workers complied with the SHMS including not entering a no or restricted access zone when flippers were defective.

It is further alleged there were failures under the SHMS to detect and ensure reporting by shift supervisors of the quantity and frequency of defects to flippers.

Mr Guilfoyle has alleged the conduct by the two men and mine operator "caused the death of Mr Duxbury".

The case will be mentioned in Mackay Magistrates Court in March next year.


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