Worker lit up a smoke in mine

SOMETIMES it's not the conditions you work under but the people who you work with that make your job dangerous.

A contractor at Peabody Energy's North Goonyella underground coal mine was caught smoking on the job last week.

The worker at the longwall mine, which is about 40km outside of Moranbah, was sacked after he risked the lives of his co-workers by lighting up.

A Peabody spokeswoman said the contract worker had been instantly dismissed and would be banned from any Peabody site for two years.

"A worker was found underground with contraband material and that was cigarettes and lighter," the spokeswoman said yesterday.

"There was evidence he had been smoking.

"These actions contradict Peabody's cardinal rules.

"Subsequently the mine's disciplinary procedures and enforcement policy were actioned against the contract worker and his company."

It is believed the man was told to wait at the security gates of the mine site and when he failed to appear the police were called for assistance.

A Moranbah police spokesman said they received the call because there were concerns for the man's safety.

"We were called for assistance on Friday," he said.

"We made checks around town and at the Nebo Junction where it was believed the man's car was."

A Mines spokesman from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines said the Queensland Government Mines Inspectorate was conducting a thorough investigation .

"Mines Inspectorate was informed promptly by the mine operator of the incident," the spokesman said .

"Smoking underground is a contraband action and could affect the safe operations of the mine and put fellow workers at risk."



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