Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker was injured at the Copper Cliff South Mine Project, Sudbury, Ontario while performing work. The worker was employed by DMC Mining Service, Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia, a company that provides mine-contracting services. The accident occurred on August 07, 2019.

DMC had been contracted by Vale Canada Limited for raise mining work. Raise mining involves creating a vertical or inclined opening in a mine driven upward from one level to connect with another level. The work was being completed in the Return Air Raise which is a vertical shaft.

The injured worker and a co-worker were on a raise climber drill platform. The workers were drilling and blasting rock to advance the raise upwards. The process also involved scaling loose rock from the area being drilled. While scaling, a loose rock fell from another area and made contact with the injured worker.

The drilling was done in close proximity to significant structures (including bedding planes, veins, joints, faults, and contacts between different rock types).

It is likely that vibrations from drilling adjacent to significant structures contributed to the rock falling unexpectedly. It was a reasonable precaution to ensure drilling was not done adjacent to significant structures.

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Sudbury, DMC Mining Service, Ltd. was fined $120,000 by Justice of the Peace Lori-Ann Toulouse; Crown Counsel Neil Gobardhan.

The court also 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

DMC Mining Service was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 2(h) which states,

“An employer shall,

(h)     Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.”     

I would also venture a guess that a hazard assessment was not completed or the work would have been completed in an entirely safe matter.

Did the company even realize that safety is the most important part of any process and all hazards have to be eliminated OR controlled.

I would wager things would be different the next time.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259 We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal 

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.