Miner hit in back with falling chunk of coal sues for $2.5m

An underground coal miner who says he has been left with a permanent disability after he was struck in the back with a piece of coal at a Bowen Basin mine has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against his employers.

Cameron Hayes has accused Carborough Downs Coal Management (Moranbah) and ABM Contractors (Emerald) of negligence and breaching the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999.

Mr Hayes, who lives in the Sunshine Coast, was employed by ABM Contractors as an underground coal miner at Carborough Downs, 20kms east of Moranbah.

On February 25, 2017, Mr Hayes was working beneath a protected roof when a "a slab of laminated shale/coal fell from a section of the roof, striking him in the back".

The incident left Mr Hayes with compression fractions in his vertebral and lumbar spine, bruising and abrasions and post-traumatic stress disorder which required hospital, medical and other treatments and therapies.

Mr Hayes, who was 27 years old at the time of the incident, also claims the incident exacerbated a skeleton disorder Osteochondrosis, which would otherwise have not adversely affected him until later in his life.

Mr Hayes claims the injuries have left him with a permanent disability and he will require hospital and medical treatment in the future, including rehabilitation for the next five years.

It is estimated Mr Hayes requires six hours of care and assistance per week.

He accuses both companies of failing to provide a safe place of work, plant and equipment.

The lawsuit, filed with the Rockhampton Supreme Court by Sunshine Coast firm Spartan Law, is for a combined $2,504,710.41.

Carborough Downs Coal Management Pty Ltd has filed a notice to defend.

No defence has yet been filed by ABM Contractors.