Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Lac Des Iles Mines Ltd., a Toronto mining company, pleaded guilty and was fined $110,000 on January 15, 2010, for a violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
On November 26, 2007, at the company’s mining pit in Thunder Bay, there was a drill pattern on the ground partially loaded with explosives. The drilled holes that had already been loaded with explosives were supposed to be identified by markers. Some of the holes were not yet loaded and required re-drilling because of blockages.
Workers re-drilled one of the holes they believed was blocked. They did not see a marker indicating the hole contained explosives. However, when the drill pulled away, the workers saw there were explosives in the hole.
Lac Des Iles Mines Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that no iron or steel tool was used in a hole that contained explosives.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Gene Bannon. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
The law(s) in contravention:
Lac Des Iles Mines Ltd., was found guilty of violating section 139, (3) of the Ontario mining regulation 854/90 which states,
“(3) No iron or steel tool shall be used in a hole that contains an explosive unless the methods and procedures described in subsection 136 (7) are followed. ”
The seriousness of this situation cannot be lost on the management team for this mine. Blasting is a planned event and all things MUST be in place prior to detonation.
Here we find the holes not properly marked prior to re-drilling. As part of the simple but mandatory way in the drilling procedure, the marking of the holes is prominent before any new work is being done. In this case, the suggestion of blockage needed to be addressed as part of the relevant plan. The marking of the holes was still the top priority.
The management for any company using blasting knows the dangers of not following procedures. Men/women die. The workers, in this case, were very fortunate.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety need. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.