A truck driver has died just days after his lower leg was partially amputated in a workplace incident at Port Kembla Coal Terminal.
Mark Roberts is being remembered as a “fun-loving” and passionate rugby league fan. The father-of-two, who lived in Orange but worked in the Illawarra, was dumping a load of coal into the chute and got out of the truck last Thursday.
The truck then started to roll forward. A SafeWork NSW spokeswoman said preliminary inquiries suggested the 49-year-old’s leg became trapped beneath the wheels of the truck, causing a large arterial bleed, after he tried to re-enter the cabin when it began to move. He was later taken to hospital.
The Warilla-Lake South senior rugby league football club secretary Sharon Clark said the Gorillas were “devastated” to learn of Mr Roberts’ accident and death.
“He was a fun-loving beautiful man. Mark brought a smile to everyone’s face and he was a pleasure to be around. He was one of the good guys. He was very passionate about the club.
“Members have taken his loss hard. There are many in our club community and people in other clubs who are in disbelief this has happened.”
Ms Clark said a home tribute match would be played in Mr Roberts’ honour next month.
Mr Roberts, who attended Thirroul Public and Warrawong High schools, started working as a truck driver for WFM Western Freight Management in 2017.
Locked-out Port Kembla Coal Terminal union workers put flowers on the padlocked gate and held a minute’s silence as a tribute to their colleague.
South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris said Mr Roberts’ death was “dreadful”.
“We were hoping Mark was going to pull through and it is just devastating for everyone to hear the news overnight,” Mr Rorris said.
“Losing any worker at any time is one of the hardest things that the family and then friends and workforce have to deal with.
“The feelings of the Port Kembla Coal Terminal workers, who of course were locked out at the time, is one of profound sadness and their first thoughts are with Mark’s family.”