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Disabled miner suing for $3.3m-plus after workplace injury

A COAL miner who claims he was permanently disabled in a workplace injury at a Moranbah site is suing BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance for more than $3.3 million.

The man was injured in January 2013, when his arm was pinned while he unloaded cable reel at Moranbah's Broadmeadow Coal Mine.

Documents lodged in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton state the man was injured as he loosened the retaining bolts while unloading cable reel and "inadvertently placed his left arm into a pinch point position where it was pinned by an unexpected movement of the cable reel".

The man was pinned in that position for an hour.

The documents claim the man suffered "an extensive crush injury to the left upper arm with soft tissue and nerve damage from above the biceps to above the elbow joint" requiring multiple surgeries, including nerve grafting and tendon transfers. As a result of the grafting, he also suffered damage to nerves in both feet.

The man is suing the mining company for more than $3.3 million, including $180,000 of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life.

The damages also include $1,787,000 for lost earning capacity into the future and $382,500 for future personal and domestic assistance.

A spokesperson for BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance said the company took "the health and safety of all our employees very seriously and is focused on preventing injuries to its people".

"This is a concerning case which unfortunately involved a serious injury being sustained by one of BMA's employees almost three years ago. Since this incident occurred, BMA has sought to provide ongoing support to the injured employee ... for that entire period," they said. "Given this matter is currently subject to legal proceedings we cannot offer any further comment."

Topics:  editors picks, mining, workplace injuries




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