CQ mine worker fights for job after getting sacked
A FORMER soldier and logistics and warehousing specialist has won his job back after taking BHP Coal to the Fair Work Commission.
Andrew Tomlinson will start back at the Peak Downs Mine on May 29 and BHP must pay him $10,578 to make up for the wages he lost, according to the decision by Commissioner Chris Simpson.
The 43-year-old has done contract work for Isaac Regional Council since he was sacked on November 30 and can't wait to get back into the warehouse at his old job.
When asked what it would be like to see the people who sacked him, he said it would be difficult but "everyone (was) human and made mistakes".
"I suppose I just have to walk back in with a smile on my face," he said.
Mr Tomlinson gave evidence to the commission that he valued safety and on at least three occasions reported safety issues at his own initiative in his seven years at the mine.
But an incident on November 12, where BHP believed he was responsible for damaging a delivery driver's hand while operating the forklift to load a truck, cost him his job.
Mr Tomlinson admitted to the commission that it was his own fault.
One of the reasons he was fired was that he hadn't taken responsibility for his actions.
Commissioner Simpson found Mr Tomlinson hadn't been given the opportunity to respond to the allegations that he didn't take responsibility for his actions and that he broke the company's safety guidelines deliberately.
The commissioner found BHP's decision to sack him was harsh because it didn't take into account Mr Tomlinson's strong safety record.
A BHP spokesperson said the company's highest priority was always its commitment to the safety of every employee, contractor and visitor at its operations.
"Regardless of the outcome in this matter, our commitment to safety is unwavering," they said.