Generic image of coal being cut underground.
Generic image of coal being cut underground. Contributed

Worker seeks $1.6m in damages after chain falls in coal mine

A WORKER is seeking $1.6million in damages after a steel chain fell on top of him while he was working in a coal mine.

Konrad Wild Allis is seeking damages of $1,609,095 from contract engineering services company Techserve and mine owner Peabody (Bowen) Pty Ltd.

Mr Allis, 43, was employed by Longbolt as a mechanical fitter, according to claim documents filed with the Supreme Court of Rockhampton.

He had been contracted out to Mackay based Techserve when the accident happened at the North Goonyella coal mine in Moranbah, located in the Bowen Basin between Mackay and Clermont, on October 28, 2013.

The claim documents state Mr Allis was removing shackles and chains from a roof support system, called a roof chock, when the accident happened.

Chock roof supports are an assembly of hydraulically operated steel supports on a longwall face, which are moved forward by means of a hydraulic ram.

As Mr Allis reached up to undo some bolts on the roof chock, a steel chain - which he was unaware of - fell on top of him.

As the chain struck Mr Allis on the left forearm, he quickly recoiled his arm, subsequently striking his left elbow forcefully on the side wall of the roof chock.

As a result of the incident, it's claimed Mr Allis sustained a personal injury since diagnosed as an acute left lateral epicondylitis.

He has since had an operation on his elbow and undergone physiotherapy.

The claim says the incident has caused him to develop a psychiatric disorder with anxiety and depression.

His sleep has been diminished and disturbed while his capacity to participate in many of his former activities has been diminished and impaired or lost altogether, the documents state.

"He has suffered a permanent impairment of function of the whole person," the claim says.

"The plaintiff has experienced, and will continue to experience, much pain, suffering, mental anguish and loss of the amenities of life."

Mr Allis claims damages due to the negligence and/or breach of duty of and by Techserve and Peabody (Bowen) Pty Ltd.

Mr Allis earned total gross wages of $111,989 in 2011-12, the claim states.

The claim includes an amount of $327,804 for past economic loss and $856,248 to cover impairment of his future earning capacity.

Peabody declined to comment on the case.

Techserve did not respond by deadline.