Anthony Mihalj 1991

14/05/1991 - Cracow Mine - Crush Injury / Slab fall

The deceased was engaged in shrink stope mining on the morning of 14 May 1991. Two holes had been drilled in the back of the ore body with a sig machine and air leg. The deceased had commenced to drill the third hole when a large slab fell down, causing fatal injuries.

From the evidence, the Inquiry found the deceased was using the wrong mining method in that flatbacking was the only way to advance the stope to the north.

The Inquiry considered this accident was caused by a failure to work the job by an appropriate mining method resulting from inadequate direction by supervision.

This accident claimed the life of Anthony Mihalj


  • Because of the inherent dangers of shrink stope mining in the upper levels of the Cracow mine, only experienced managers and miners should be employed in this type of operation.
  • Suitable staging should be readily available for shrink stoping where required.
  • The lines of authority at Cracow is to be made clear to all employees and responsibility for directing and supervising the progress of each job is to be defined.