Investigation clears sugar mill

AN investigation by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland into a locomotive derailment at the Isis Central Sugar Mill on June 24 has failed to identify any breach of safety laws.

The investigation was launched after the loco, towing 28 bins of cane, left the Adies Road tracks just before the bridge under Kevin Livingstone Drive.

Driver Geoffrey Martin, his offsider and a trainee driver jumped to safety, with all sustaining minor injuries.

A spokesperson for WHSQ said while no breach was detected, the department had worked with mill operators to identify strategies to minimise the potential for future similar events.

“WHSQ is also actively working with the Australian Sugar Milling Council and its members to look at ways to continuously improve safety with cane rail and cane transport in the sugar industry,” the spokesperson said.

Isis Central Sugar Mill general manager John Gorringe said the investigation had confirmed the company’s internal investigation, which showed there were no defects with the equipment or rail track involved.

“The mill has worked with employees and introduced a number of measures to reduce the possibility of a similar incident,” Mr Gorringe said.

Mr Martin, who was subsequently sacked from his employment for alleged breaches of company policies, said he still had not heard from WHSQ.

Since the incident, Fair Work Australia has mediated in a complaint Mr Martin made against the mill, the outcome of which must remain confidential.

“We reached a mutual agreement with no discrimination on either part,” Mr Martin said.

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