Proserpine worker dies after being crushed between cane bins

A 46-YEAR-OLD man has died after being crushed between two cane bins at the Proserpine Sugar Mill on Sunday morning.

The worker received severe injuries to his pelvis and was taken to Proserpine Hospital by ambulance.

He was treated there by rescue helicopter medical staff before being airlifted to the Mackay Base Hospital.

The man  was in a serious condition when he arrived at the hospital and died at 2.30pm, about four and a half hours after the accident..

A Workplace Health and Safety investigation will take place, police said.

The tragedy comes just days after sugar giant  Sucrogen revealed it will invest between $40-50 million in the Proserpine mill over the next five years.

Mackay Regional Operations Manager Danny Van Der Berg oversees the mills at both Proserpine and Sarina's Plane Creek.

Mr Van Der Berg earlier told the Whitsunday Times that the 2012 crushing season was due to finish within the next couple of weeks and for Proserpine it had been an "average" season in terms of performance and factory reliability.

"All in all I think we're fairly happy with progress in the first season [under Sucrogen's ownership], understanding we have a way to go in terms of our safety performance and overall factory reliability," he said.

The Proserpine mill was previously a co-operative, owned by local canegrowers for more than 100 years.

At the end of last year it was sold to Sucrogen, who have since been implementing an integration plan, of which stage one is now complete.

Mr Van Der Berg said work had now started on stage two, which would be about processes and asset rehabilitation, "supported by a fairly large capital investment plan over the next five years".



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