Barry Rooks 1996

27/10/1996 - Deep Copper Mine, Isa Lease - Fall / Rock fall

On Sunday 27 October 1996 Mr Barry Arnold Rooks was fatally injured when a rock fall of approximately 2 to 3 tonnes occurred pinning him to the platform of a Getman scissor lift tractor no. 2771.

Valiant attempts were made by Donnelly and Dryden to lift the rock off Mr. Rooks but their efforts were in vain.

This accident claimed the life of Barry Arnold Rooks


Clearly defined minimum support rules should be developed and implemented for the Deep Copper mine.

1. These minimum support rules shall specify:-

  • Maximum drive widths;
  • Maximum distance from the face to the last line of effective support;
  • The number, type and pattern of the supports required;
  • Safe work procedures for the installation of these supports.

2. Safe work procedures should be developed and implemented with input from, and in cooperation with, a vertical cross-section of the workforce affected by, and competent in the work to be performed. Safe work procedures should include audit mechanisms.

3. That an industry group consisting of representatives from the Deep Copper mine management team and employee representatives with input from the Department of Mine's Inspectorate, investigate, select and implement an effective rock bolting system. An effective rock bolting system should provide immediate protection for persons engaged in the installation process and effective support for persons employed on other duties in the face area.

4. That the Getman scissor-lift platform and other devices, used to elevate persons be fitted with falling object protection and guard rails as required by Part 7.32.1 of The Metalliferous Mining Regulations of 1985 (as amended).