A CQ miner has filed a $1.2 million claim against his employer over a 2 metre fall from a grader. Photo: Zizi Averill
A CQ miner has filed a $1.2 million claim against his employer over a 2 metre fall from a grader. Photo: Zizi Averill

CQ operator hits mining giant with $1.2 million claim

A CQ miner has hit his employer with a $1.2m lawsuit over alleged safety breaches he claims caused a debilitating shoulder injury.

But BHP is defending the supreme court claim arguing the worker's own failures caused the two-metre fall and that he had a pre-existing condition.

Leonard Dennis Booroff is seeking the multimillion dollar payout because he claims his injuries will deteriorate over the next six months and he will not be able to work.

Mr Booroff was inspecting a grader while on day shift at BMA's Saraji mine on June 3, 2015 when he fell about 1.8 to two metres from a platform on the machine.

BMA's Saraji Coal Mine near Moranbah
BMA's Saraji Coal Mine near Moranbah

 

Court documents filed in Mackay Supreme Court and viewed by the Daily Mercury revealed the grader had been hired by the mine operator about three months before.

The 58 year old had been in the process of closing a hatch, after checking the engine oil, which he claimed "was rigid" - as he did this his right foot "shifted" off the platform while he was holding the hatch door with his left hand.

"As a result (Mr Booroff's) right foot swung in the air above the top step of the steps located at the rear of the 24M grader," the claim stated.

He landed on his right side and suffered torn tendons and ligaments in his shoulders, pubic bone fractures and soft tissue injuries to his right hip and as a result needed multiple surgeries.

Mr Booroff is suing for $1,394,755.97 less $187,952.97 to be refunded to workers compensation. The amount includes $120 per week for 11 years to go towards rent, past overtime loss, future economic and superannuation loss and general and special damages.

More stories:

Driver in court for traffic crash after failing to give way

Why a young man was jailed over someone else's drugs

His allegations include the mining giant failed in its duty of care in relation to his safety, exposed him to risk and did not "comply with the safety and health management system of the mine".

Mr Booroff claims he suffers ongoing pain and loss of movement and strength in his shoulders and ongoing pain and issues to his hip/groin area.

Mr Booroff alleges although he has been assigned to light duties he occasionally has to carry out heavier work "which lead to exacerbations of his bilateral shoulder symptomatology".

He claims his left shoulder was in "a very poor state/condition and likely to fail within months".

"He is unlikely to remain in employment with (BHP) beyond six months from the present time," the statement read.

But BHP has argued Mr Booroff's injuries were from "long standing pre-existing degeneration of both shoulders", which was likely to be symptomatic to the same extent within four years.

More stories:

'You completely failed in your duty to care for a pet'

Driver 'left a dying child' in the middle of the street

The company denied the allegations as untrue and stated the grader was new when it arrived at the mine, had "passed inspections and thereby a risk assessment was not required".

BHP said Mr Booroff was not required to carry out heavier duties had his position enabled him to delegate work to other employees.

" (Mr Booroff) is likely to remain employed with (BHP) by reason of his ongoing capabilities to perform his present role and duties as Service Bay Co-ordinator," the defence statement said.

BHP has alleged the fall was "caused wholly or substantially by the contributory negligence of (Mr Booroff)" by failing to keep a proper lookout as to where he was standing and stepping on the platform and failing to keep three points of contact on the grader.

In a reply to the defence Mr Booroff agreed he had a pre-existing condition but claimed it was mild and would not have degenerated to the current state within four years.

He also denied he caused the fall.

Subscriber benefits:

How to activate your free Courier-Mail subscription

How to get Daily Mercury news straight to your inbox

Your dose of Harry Bruce cartoons


100 Aussie schools get free fruit for a day

100 Aussie schools get free fruit for a day

Find out how to get involved with Woolworth free give away

Councillor fires up over $115 emergency levy rates hike

Premium Content Councillor fires up over $115 emergency levy rates hike

Thousands of residents in Coast suburbs are facing a $115 rates hike

DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

DON'T MISS OUT: Activate your bonus for big rewards

Did you know you can get even more – for free?