Queensland mining accidents

Download a printable version of Queensland mining accidents [PDF 256 KB]

Queensland mining accidents were published annually in the Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes and Proceedings (later known as Queensland Parliamentary Papers) from 1882 to 1945.

Queensland Mining Accidents Index

A searchable online index of Queensland mining accidents up to 1945 is now available in One Search.

Each entry records the date of the accident, the name of the miner involved in the accident, the mine where the accident took place and brief details of the accident. Also included is the year, volume and page number in the Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes and Proceedings.

The Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes and Proceedings (Queensland Parliamentary Papers) is available on microfilm (MFL 328.943) at the State Library’s South Bank building on level 3.

Further information in the Queensland Parliamentary Papers

Occasionally additional information can be gleaned from reading the mining wardens’ reports which are published in the  [microfilm] (MFL 328.9431). The reports are usually listed alphabetically by mining district. The quality of reports will vary depending of the writer. Usually only the most serious accidents are listed.

Example of the mining warden’s report for Hodgkinson Field – Queensland Parliamentary Papers 1901, volume 4, p.406

“During the year two accidents were reported; one, I am sorry to say, was fatal, which occurred in General Grant Mine, to Lawrence Henry Kirby. I held an inquiry into the cause of death, and it appears by the evidence that deceased and his mate, Shaw, who were engaged sinking the General Grant shaft, gave the usual signal to the engine-driver to haul up. When the bucket arrived opposite the No.2 level, while the engine was in motion, they both attempted to leave the bucket. Shaw managed to get into the level, but the deceased fell a distance of over 50 feet.

The other accident occurred in the Vulcan Extended Claim to a miner named Thomas Porter. It appears that his mate was lowering him down with the windlass, and, when he was within 25 feet of the bottom, the rope broke, and Porter fell. In falling he received a nasty wound in the head, but the doctor does not consider that it is serious.”


Newspapers often reported on serious or fatal mining accidents and can provide further background details on the incident and personal information on the injured or deceased miner. With fatal accidents funeral notices and obituaries may also have been published in the local newspaper.

To locate a newspaper for a particular area:

Example taken from the Bundaberg Mount Perry Mail, 4 March 1889, p.2

Mining accident article from the Bundaberg & Mount Perry Mail


Most fatal accidents required a magisterial inquiry (or inquest) to interview relevant witnesses and establish the cause of death. Inquest files are held with the Queensland State Archives.

QSA brief guide – Inquest Records

Index to inquests 1859-1902 [Indexes > Index categories > Courts > Inquests]

Alternatively many local newspapers closely followed and reported the daily proceedings of magisterial enquiries.

Download a printable version of Queensland mining accidents [PDF 256 KB]

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