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Mineral Mines & Quarries Inspectorate | Alert | No.423 V 1 | 19 January 2023

Fatal accident when mine worker fell from the roof of a workshop

What happened?

On Saturday the 26 November 2022 an opal mine worker suffered fatal injuries when he fell from the roof of a workshop.

How did it happen?

The incident is still under investigation however, it is understood the worker accessed the roof of the workshop to make repairs following damage caused by a severe weather event when a structural member failed (figure 1), causing the worker to fall approximately 5.8 metres to ground.

Key issues

  • Working at heights without appropriate fall restraint / arrest personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Damage to the structural integrity of the workshop.


All Site Senior Executives should:

  • Ensure persons required to work at heights have adequate knowledge and are appropriately trained and assessed as competent to perform the task safely.
  • Ensure appropriate facilities are provided to minimise the risk of persons falling from heights i.e. scaffold, elevated work platforms, fall restraint / arrest PPE.
  • Ensure repairs or modifications to fixed plant structures are performed in accordance with the Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM) design and instructions, so that it remains fit for its intended use and work environment.
  • Emergency services are provided with detailed instructions on both the location and travel routes to enable the most efficient access to remote mining operations. 

All Operators should:

  • Ensure all plant and equipment is maintained in a safe state, in accordance with the OEM's instructions. 

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

Authorised by Hermann Fasching - Chief Inspector – Mineral Mines & Quarries

Contact: Brett Holley, Inspector of Mines , +61 7 4745 4106

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.
Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy, understand the content, findings and recommendations as applicable to their operation. SSEs should validate that recommendations have been implemented.