South32 could face a million-dollar legal payout over a 2019 incident at Appin mine in which a miner lost two toes.
The NSW Resources Regulator has launched legal action against the company - which owns Appin colliery through subsidiary Endeavour Coal - over the June 8, 2019 incident.
Mastermyne employee Jeff Rapley was working on the night shift when his right foot was caught in a conveyor.
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Had he been wearing lace-up safety boots rather than gumboots at the time, he may not have been able to remove his foot and would have been dragged further into the machine.
According to a NSW Resources Regulator investigation, Mr Rapley stepped onto a void covered with mesh, and his foot fell through.
As a result of the incident, two toes on Mr Rapley's foot were amputated.
The regulator's investigation found "there was a failure to follow the mine's policy and procedures".
The regulator has started a prosecution of South32 over the incident.
"The regulator alleges that [Endeavour Coal] failed in its duty to ensure the health and safety of workers at the mine by exposing them to the risk of serious injury or death as a result of a body part coming in contact with dangerous moving parts of an energised scraper conveyor at the mine," the regulator said in a statement.
If a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act is proven, the maximum penalty is $1.5 million.
The proceedings are set down for mention in the NSW District Court on June 7.
Mr Rapley said he was "finally, finally feeling somewhat vindicated" by the case going to court.
"Whether corporate-wise or [an] individual, someone has to be held accountable for what happened to me," Mr Rapley said.
"It's too serious to be swept under the mat."
He said the injury had had a "ripple effect" on his life, which he was still dealing with almost two years later.
"I've been diagnosed with PTSD over it. I'm still having consultations with a psychiatrist," he said.
"I wake up in the middle of the night having had flashbacks and nightmares.
"In hindsight I thought I'd be at a much better stage than what I am but chronic pain now is going to be part of my regular life."
Mr Rapley also said he has had "no support, no contact" from South32 management, aside from being sent a fruit box.
In a statement a South32 spokesman said "our thoughts continue to be with the worker affected by this incident".
"Nothing is more important than the safety of our people," the spokesman said.
"We will continue to work with the NSW Resources Regulator on this matter."