Brant North 1999

20/01/1999 - Oaky Creek Number 1 Mine - Crush Injury

On night shift of Wednesday, 20 January 1999 at approximately 05:00 hours, trainee miner Brant North had both legs caught by the armoured face conveyor chain at the tailgate drive sprocket of longwall 14 at Oaky Creek No 1 mine.

Mr North and Mr Adam Clarke, a contract miner, were deployed to the task of unloading a mesh basket of winches, placing some on the armoured face conveyor drive and the rest on the ground by the tailgate drive. After placing some winches on the armoured face conveyor tailgate drive,  Mr North climbed up onto the armoured face conveyor drive to clear room for more winches.

In descending the armoured face conveyor tailgate drive, Mr North's legs were caught in the armoured face conveyor chain and a flight bar, dragging him for approximately seven metres.

Mr North was trapped for approximately 4 hours. The extent of his injuries required a surgeon to amputate both legs to free him before being transported to the surface of Oaky Creek No 1 Mine and to Rockhampton hospital.


We acknowledge that many of the recommendations put forward by inspector Caffery have been implemented at Oaky Creek No 1 mine and we endorse the action taken to date. We endorse these recommendations for the whole of the Queensland coal industry and offer the following additional recommendations:

When there is a perceived need to modify equipment, alter the workplace or amend standard operating procedures, and such a change may impact on the health and safety of persons, a comprehensive formal risk assessment must take place.

When such a risk assessment has been undertaken, the risk treatment options must be in accordance with the hierarchy of control.

The development and implementation of an industry standard for the effective management of contract labour with particular emphasis on experience, qualifications and training.

Positive isolation for the tailgate drive be installed at a convenient and accessible location as close as possible to the nominated access path to and from the tailgate roadway.