Middlemount Coal mine in Central Queensland.
Middlemount Coal mine in Central Queensland. Melanie Whiting

Shocking mine death a 'wake-up call', says CFMEU

THE CFMEU says the shocking death of a worker at the Middlemount coal mine Wednesday afternoon must serve as a "wake-up call" for improving safety and practices.

Middlemount Coal confirmed the death of the mine worker at its site on Wednesday afternoon.

It marks the third death this year in a Queensland coal mine.

The miner was killed after a high wall collapsed on the excavator he was inside.

"On behalf of the whole union, we extend our sincere condolences to the worker's family, friends and co-workers. The worker was not a member of the union," CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said.

"Union safety inspectors are on site and will conduct a thorough, independent investigation."

Mr Smyth has called for the industry to probe safety culture and practices.

"It must be a wake-up call to the industry to look closely at the safety culture and practices across our coal mines," he said.

"Workers must be empowered to stand up and speak out on safety matters without the fear of reprisal."