BMA Blackwater Mine
BMA Blackwater Mine

$1.3 million claimed for CQ mine site brake drum injury

A BLACKWATER mine worker is suing for $1.3 million after he allegedly suffered back pain when removing a brake drum.

Rieck Neumann, 30, of Park Avenue, had been working at BMA Blackwater mine since 2011.

Court documents detail an incident occurred on June 17, 2019 when Mr Neumann was instructed to do a ­scheduled 12-month mechanical service on a field trailer.

He was removing a brake drum from the rear axle of the trailer while sitting on an orange safety step.

Mr Neumann claims he sat the brake drum on his knee and stood up, holding it in front of him and twisting to the right.

At this point, Mr Neumann said he felt a sharp and sudden pain in his lower back.

The brake drum has been reported as being 40cm in diameter, 15cm in depth and weighing 20kg.

The court claim, filed by Matthew Dunlop of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers ­Rockhampton, argues there should have been precautions in place against the risk of injury.

Measures could have included adopting a system with the use of mechanical aids in a workshop, the brake drum removal could be undertaken by two people, use of a mobile crane and sling and safe manual handling training, it is claimed.

It is alleged Mr Neumann suffered a spinal injury, soft issue injury to his L4/5 disc, sciatica and developed depression symptoms as a result of the incident.

The injuries have also allegedly required surgery along with physiotherapy and medical treatment and he will require in the future again.

From these injuries, Mr Neumann claims he has suffered from pain, discomfort, loss of function and loss of enjoyment of life, along with a loss of income and significant reduction in earning capacity.

The workplace injury court claim, filed in Rockhampton Supreme Court in November 2019, is against BM Alliance Coal Operations, the operators of the mine.

The claim for Mr Neumann's loss and damages is for $1,349,921.18.

This is made up of general damages of $75,000, past economic loss of $112,949.03 and past superannuation of $10,730.

Future economic loss for the next 37 years is $800,000 with $90,400 of future ­superannuation. Special damages are claimed at $45,00 and future expenses of $30,000.

It is claimed Mr Neumann has received three hours of care a week for the past year, estimated at $10,000 and will need to receive the same for the next 55 years, an estimated cost of $156,000.

The court documents claim BMA failed to provide a safe and adequate workplace, plant and equipment.

There has been no defence filed yet. BMA was contacted for comment.

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