26 Jul 2012

Mine accident disheartens union

8:00 pm on 26 July 2012

The union representing miners says it is disheartened by an accident in which a miner was seriously injured at the Spring Creek mine on the West Coast.

Underground operations stopped at the Solid Energy mine, near Greymouth, after coal fell on the miner on Wednesday. He was part of a team installing roof support in a recently formed tunnel area.

High Hazards Unit inspectors have shut down development areas at the mine because they are worried about stability underground.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union spokesperson Ged O'Connell told Morning Report the incident is disappointing given the focus on mine safety over the past few years.

However, he says the handling of the incident reflects a higher level of vigilance by the unit.

Mr O'Connell says the company now needs to find out if the incident was a freak situation or a silly mistake.

The injured miner remains in a stable condition in hospital.