The CFMEUs Steve Smyth:
The CFMEUs Steve Smyth: "... negligence will not be tolerated”. Tony Martin

Anglo worker's death sparks call for tougher penalties

THE CFMEU is calling for tougher penalties for companies who cause the deaths of workers.

The union launched the campaign following Anglo Coal's plea of guilty in the Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday to failing its safety obligations and causing the death of electrician Paul McGuire in 2014.

The company could face a fine of up to $550,000.

In court, defence barrister Geraldine Dann suggested a fine of $80,000 to $90,000.

She said the company accepted that it had given Mr McGuire a job card directing him to work at an incorrect location at Grasstree mine.

Prosecutor Ruth O'Gorman said the father-of-two had opened the hatch to the sealed longwall, breathed in fatal air and died instantly.

She said a fine of more than $100,000 was warranted.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer is expected to deliver his sentence next month.

CFMEU district president Stephen Smyth said the union had launched a campaign called 'Kill a worker, go to jail'.

"We need immediate action from the Queensland Government to strengthen punitive action towards employers who break the law. A petty fine doesn't even come close to bringing justice to a grieving family - employers need to know negligence will not be tolerated," he said.

"Workers should feel safe when going to work, and their families should have confidence that their loved ones will come home."

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