New safety worries at Moranbah North

MORANBAH North’s safety standards are again under the spotlight after the miners union has found serious problems with underground electrical cables, which could potentially result in fatalities.

Staff Reporter

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union health and safety officer Tim Whyte told the Sunday Mail that workers in a section of the mine had burned out 13 special electrical cables in three weeks.

“Each one of those could have meant a coal dust explosion which would almost certainly cause fatalities. A coal dust explosion is much worse than a gas explosion," he said.

Whyte said the electrical cables had burned out at an unusually high rate, as the normal rate is about one a year.

He said he would visit the mine soon to try and discover the source of the problem.

A spokeswoman for Anglo Coal, the company which owns the mine, admitted there has been a problem with cables.

“It wasn't 13 in three weeks – I don't know how many there were, but there has been a problem with cables," she told the Sunday Mail.

“These cables have been replaced as a precautionary measure. It is unusual for this to happen and we will be putting a more effective cable management program into effect."

Last year there were seven high potential incidents at Moranbah North in a four-month period, sparking initial concerns that adequate safety measures were being overlooked.

But Whyte recently told International Longwall News that he was confident Moranbah North had resolved the safety issues that plagued the mine last year.