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Boggabri death investigation report released

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The NSW mines safety investigation unit has released their report into the death of a worker at the Boggabri mine last month.

The worker, a 50 year-old rigger from Ulladulla named Mark Galton, was tightening bolts in a newly constructed steel structure for a coal-handling plant, at about 8:45am on May 21.

Galton was employed by the Thiess-Sedgman Joint Venture, involved in the building of a plant expansion for the Boggabri Coal Mine.

Galton was working about 14 metres up from ground level, from the basket of a Mobile Elevated Work Platform which was on a concrete pad at the base of the structure.

At the time of the incident Galton was seen standing in the basket with only a small distance between his helmet and an overhanging steel beam.

Shortly afterwards Galton was seen with his head caught between the steel beam and the safety rail over the control console of the EWP.

Workers immediately used the ground controls to lower the basket, and a second EWP was used bring Galton to ground level, where efforts to revive Galton were not successful.

Galton died of traumatic cardiac arrest as a result of a crushing injury to the head and neck.

The report has not given an explanation as to how the crush injury occurred, although investigations into the incident are continuing.

Operation of such work platforms is regarded as high risk work, requiring a high risk work licence.

The report observed that “a 2013 UK HSE report notes that there are significant numbers of accidents where operators are trapped or crushed between an elevated work platform and nearby obstructions”.

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