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Injured dozer operator wins damages against Hail Creek Mine

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A Queensland bulldozer operator has recently been awarded more than $600,000 in damages after ongoing back problems left him unable to continue in his line of work.

The 42-year old Michael Keith Haylett lodged a claim in the Townsville District Court after developing a spinal injury while working at the Hail Creek miner as a dozer operator during 2009 and 2010.

Judge John Baulch said in his judgement that the mine had admitted liability and causation, and that the issues of the matter related only to the determination of the amount of damages.

Baulch said that Haylett’s injury was caused by long hours of work over rough ground and large rocks, and that he was not fit to return to his trade.

Haylett had been retrained by the mine to work on one of their drill crews, however Judge Baulch said “The restrictions that the plaintiff suffers are significant ones and will trouble him for the rest of his life.

Haylett’s injuries were rated at 25 per cent whole person impairment, which baulch said would leave him at a disadvantage when competing with other applicants in the workforce.

Total damages amounted to $626,280 including general damages and future economic loss.

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