Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A contract worker who was trapped inside a Saskatchewan gold mill for about 10 hours later returned to the site to help with the investigation. Mill Operations Suspended in Saskatchewan until the root cause was found.
At about 1:30 pm on January 18, 2011, Rocky Arsenault was working in the crusher room of Saskatoon-based Golden Band Resources Inc.’s facility near La Ronge, Saskatchewan when he became trapped, says Rodney Orr, vice-president of the company.
Arsenault, 61, is an employee of Kitsaki/Procon Joint Venture, a company that provides mining and milling personnel to Golden Band Resources. The worker had entered a chute where ore is fed into the mill to free a blockage. Rocks then shifted and he was pinned.
When the company’s on-site emergency response personnel were unable to extricate Arsenault, the local fire service was called to the scene. The trapped worker was rescued at about 11:30 pm
Arsenault was taken to hospital where he was kept overnight for observation, before being released the next morning.
The mill’s operations were suspended pending completion of an investigation.
Where were the safeguards? Why was there less than adequate supervision? Why was this not recognized as a possible and potential hazard? Why was this worker ever put at risk?
All these questions needed to be asked and answered prior to any worker entering the work site.
I would be interested in seeing how the government of Saskatchewan dealt with this issue? I know how this would have ended up in Ontario. I guess, by now, so do you, my readership.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.