In 2017 a tragic incident took place at BHP's Mount Arthur coal mine, and now they're paying the price - the largest price in the state's history.
An enforceable undertaking worth more than $1 million has been agreed upon with the NSW Resources Regulator (NSWRR).
It comes after an incident at the site in 2017 saw a man suffer serious burns to their face, neck, torso and arms.
The diesel fire started at the mine's heavy vehicle refuelling facility while the 29-year-old contractor was refuelling a tyre handler.
The undertaking's conditions will include reimbursing the regulator's costs associated with investigation, legal costs, administration costs and monitoring costs of $77,750; implementing engineering upgrades to MACPL's (Mount Arthur Coal Pty Limited) heavy vehicle refuelling facility and other diesel distribution facilities at the mine at a cost of $793,000; consulting with the Muswellbrook division of the NSW Rural Fire Service to support the division's initiatives and donate $200,000 towards the implementation of the service's initiatives; and conduct an industry seminar to share MACPL's learnings on effective contractor management at a cost of $10,000.
The requirements will all need to be completed within 24 months at a total spend of no less than $1,090,750.
"The regulator accepted the Enforceable Undertaking as it will deliver tangible benefits to the workforce and community that could not be achieved through prosecution action alone," said chief investigator Steve Orr.
In NSWRR's report, they detailed the extent of the incident and its consequences.
"The injured worker sustained burns to 8 per cent of his body, these injuries required extensive treatment including skin grafts," they said.
"The regulator alleges that the mine operator, MACPL, failed to comply with its health and safety duty under section 19 (1) of the WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers engaged or caused to be engaged by MACPL, while they were at work in the business or undertaking.
"The regulator further alleges that the failure exposed a worker to a risk of death or serious injury."
It was not only the highest enforceable undertaking on record, but also trend setter in terms of technology used the investigation as they used digital animations to display how the accident occurred, so that it could be used as a prevention tool.
"These animations are the first of their kind to be developed by a work health and safety regulator anywhere in Australia and are aimed at helping the industry address safety issue," Mr Orr said.
They have also launched charges against Otraco International Pty Ltd for an alleged breach of the Work Health and Safely Act 2011, but that remains before the court.
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