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Mining giant Endeavour Coal ordered to pay worker $300,000 in damages over conveyor belt

Damning picture reveals why mining giant was fined $300,000 after worker was forced to drag his own mangled foot out of a conveyor belt

  • Endeavour Coal was ordered to pay a worker $300,000 damages on Wednesday 
  • The man’s foot got lodged in a gap in an industrial conveyor belt in 2019 
  • He pulled himself free but only after his foot was crushed and toes severed 

An Australian mining company has been forced to pay a worker $300,000 after his foot became caught in an industrial conveyor belt causing significant injuries. 

The worker was installing the energised scraper conveyor at the Appin below ground mine – owned by Endeavour Coal, a subsidiary of the BHP founded South32 – southwest of Sydney, on June 8, 2019.

The labour-hire worker’s foot became stuck and he managed to pull himself free but only after his right foot was crushed, his toes were amputated and he suffered a large gash its underside, court documents seen by The Illawarra Mercury said.

The worker told the court he had lost his job as a result of the injury and was permanently unable to work. 

Pictures of the conveyor belt in which the worker’s foot became lodged show a large boot-sized gap (pictured)

The NSW Resources Regulator investigated the incident and Endeavour Coal pleaded guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 at the NSW District Court on July 27.

The mining giant was convicted of failing to ensure the health and safety of workers and was fined $300,000 – reduced by 25 per cent to reflect the early guilty plea – and ordered to pay prosecutors’ court fees.

Peter Day, executive director at the Resources Regulator, said the decision highlighted the need for mining companies to ensure the safety of workers. 

He said Endeavour Coal did not adhere to documented systems designed to prevent such an incident and new team members were not adequately brought up to speed when brought onto site.