Daniel Springer was critically injured in a workplace incident at the Goonyella Riverside mine.
Daniel Springer was critically injured in a workplace incident at the Goonyella Riverside mine.

No blame over mining death, says worker’s widow

THE widow of a worker who died from head injuries in a Bowen Basin mine does not blame anyone for her husband's death but hopes an inquest will prevent it from happening again.

Daniel Springer was critically injured in a workplace incident at the Goonyella Riverside mine in August 2017 and later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

An internal investigation by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance found the young dad was removing a sheet of metal from an excavator bucket when 'stored energy' caused the sheet of metal to spring up and strike him in the head.

He left behind a young son, Wolf, and wife Carmela Xiriha Springer.

Ms Xiriha Springer was in Townsville on Thursday during a pre-inquest hearing into her husband's death.

She said she hoped the inquest would shine a light on how the incident occurred, provide clarification as to whether there was a lack of processes and explain why the excavator bucket had stored energy.

"I'm not having any expectations because I don't really understand the technical sides of it all, so I'm just happy to learn about it as they discuss it," she said.

"The one thing that I hope that comes out of this (inquest) is that it doesn't happen again.

"I think as long as … the changes are made so that it doesn't happen again; I mean this was a one off, but one time too many."

Mr Springer, a boilermaker contractor from Independent Mining Services, had only been in the job for a matter of weeks.

On the weekend he died he was to have been in Townsville on the weekend to watch the North Queensland Cowboys, but instead had to work.

Ms Xiriha Springer said there was no anger towards the company, or the industry for what happened to her husband.

"Who can you be angry at? The universe?" she said.

"Nobody goes out in business to try and hurt people so whatever is happened, if it's been human decision error … people are human and make mistakes you can't really blame (them).

"I don't feel like I can blame anybody for what's happened."

A Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spokeswoman said the death of any worker was tragic and the focus would be preventing further tragedies.

"The Northern Coroner has decided to hold an inquest into the death of Mr Springer and the Department will co-operate fully with this process," the spokeswoman said.

An inquest is expected to be held in September in Mackay.



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