Grasstree Asphyxiation 2014

06/05/2014 - Grasstree



DEPARTMENT of Natural Resources and Mines spokesperson said mine inspectors were working with Anglo American to investigate the cause of the fatality.

"Mine management reported that an electrician working underground was discovered unconscious at approximately 3pm on 6 May 2014," the spokesperson said.

"The worker was taken to the surface where attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

"Preliminary indications suggest the electrician entered a closed area of the underground mine workings and may have been asphyxiated by a noxious atmosphere."

The spokesperson said Anglo American had withdrawn its underground workforce as a precaution.

"Police and two mines inspectors were onsite at Grasstrees mine overnight," the spokesperson said.

"A further two senior mines inspectors are arriving this morning to commence the investigation.

"The investigation report will be provided to the Coroner who will determine cause of death."



MINING giant AngloAmerican has issued a statement about the incident a Grasstree Mine where a worker died yesterday.

AngloAmerican says yesterday afternoon an employee at the Grasstree mine was found collapsed while working

"Personnel responded and tried to revive the employee underground before bringing the employee to the surface where they unsuccessfully continued the resuscitation.

"Anglo American is working with the Mines Inspectorate and the Queensland Police Service to conduct a thorough investigation into this fatality.

"Counselling services have been made available to the deceased employee's family and all other employees.

"No other personnel were injured in this incident.

"The safety and wellbeing of all employees and contractors at the Grasstree operation is AngloAmerican's number one priority.

"Further information will be provided as it comes to hand."



It is believed the Grasstree Mine worker was an electrician.

The Queensland Mines Department said the worker may have died from asphyxiation after entering closed area of mine. 



GRASSTREE Mine is currently under investigation for the death of one of its workers.

The Miners' Union says a worker has been killed at the Middlemount mine.

Operations at the mine have ceased while investigations are done.

More to come.

Source - CQ News.

This accident claimed the life of Paul McGuire


The Coroner's Report was released on 22nd of May 2020 (over 6 years after the accident).

The recommendations include:

  1. The Department of Natural Resources and Mines establish a guideline of what may be considered (for hatches in seals) to assist the mine operator discharge their obligation. I recommend that the Department develop a Guidance Note which can be included in the Regulations, the mine should prepare a risk assessment of what is being done to prevent any further ingress to teh GOAF during sealing up operations. Any consequential regulation refinements should also occur.
  2. That it not be mandatory that a person must be accompanies by an ventilation officer or Deputy when working in a return air area of the mine; rather it simply be that a coal mine worker, if they choose, can request to be accompanied by a Deputy of Ventilation Officer when working in the return air area.
  3. In addition, there should be widely promoted (which I believe may have already been done) as to what are appropriate, or acceptable, minimum design requirements' for a hatch seal which should include those things identified in the changes made by Grasstree Mine. These included that it is padlocked and the key kept by the ventilation officers, it is to be clearly marked as to the dangerous gases in the GOAF that lie beyond the hatch seal, and that no entry by persons is permitted, and that steps are taken to prevent physical access up to the hatch seal, whether by temporary fencing or "No Road" tape or both.

  4. With respect to the prosecution aspect being conducted by a specialist industrial prosecutor, I note that the government has acted in this regard and it has been implemented, and accordingly no recommendation is required.