Blog Post #911 – Glencore Canada Corp. Charged

Blog Post #911 – Glencore Canada Corp. Charged

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

Toronto-based mining company, Glencore Canada Corp. is facing multiple charges over the death of 54-year-old Richard Pigeau, who was killed when a piece of machinery struck him at the nickel Rim South Mine in Sudbury on October 20, 2015.

Janet Deline, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour (MOL) reports that the Ministry laid five occupational health and safety charges against Glencore on October 14, 2016:

  • Interfering with, disturbing and/or altering objects at the scene of the fatality;
  • failing to protect a worker’s safety through information, instruction and supervision;
  • failing to keep workplace equipment in good condition;
  • failing to ensure that the measures in the Ontario ‘mining’ regulation 854/90 were carried out in the workplace; and
  • failing to take every precaution reasonable to protect a worker.”

Two charges were also laid against a supervisor named Steve Holmik. As Pigeau’s supervisor, Holmik faces a charge of failing to take every reasonable precaution to protect an employee. As his colleague, Holmik has been charged with failing to work in a way that did not endanger co-workers.

Glencore says that it is reviewing the case. Prior to the seven charges the company was already facing other related to the MOL’s investigation of the incident. On June 22, 2016, the MOL charged the corporation with hindering, obstructing and/or interfering with an OH&S inspector executing a warrant and failing to furnish all necessary means to assist an inspector with a search, investigation, examination or inquiry.

My opinion,

The 5 charges, listed above, can mostly be found in the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. (OHSA)

Section 62, subsections (1) and (2) were deemed to be in contravention, which states,

  • “No person shall hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with or attempt to hinder, obstruct, molest or interfere with an inspector in the exercise of a power or the performance of a duty under this Act or the regulations or in the execution of a warrant issued under this Act or the Provincial Offences Actwith respect to a matter under this Act or the regulations.”

(2) “Every person shall furnish all necessary means in the person’s power to facilitate any entry, search, inspection, investigation, examination, testing or inquiry by an inspector,

(a) in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of his or her duties under this Act or the regulations; or

(b) in the execution of a warrant issued under this Act or the Provincial Offences Act with respect to a matter under this Act or the regulations.”

Section 25 of the OHSA is also heavily identified in this report. 4 sections were used in the charges. I have listed all 4 below:

Section 25, subsection 2 (a) which states,

“An employer shall,

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”

Section 25, subsection 1 (b) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

  • the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition.”

Section 25, subsection 1 (c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

  • the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

And finally, one of the most used section of the entire green book, section 25, subsection 2 (h) which states,

“An employer shall,

Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”

The supervisor also failed the worker and was charged with the following;

Section 27, subsection 2(c) which states,

“A supervisor shall,

  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker;”  and

Section 28, subsection 2 (b) which states,

“No worker shall,

(b) Use or operate any equipment, machine, device or thing or work in a manner that may endanger himself, herself or any other worker.”

As you can see, the employer failed in so many ways in the protection of their workers. To interfere with an investigation is normally unheard of but Glencore did not understand and will stand trial for the violations and lack of insight.

Please ensure that your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

 

Dan
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