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.
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, Orr reports.
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.
Ontario has a regulation for ‘Mining and Ming Plants’, regulation 854. The regulation covers all aspects of the mine and its internal workings. All mines and mining plants in Ontario MUST have a copy and a fair understanding of the regulation.
In this case, the Golden Band Resources Inc. indeed had a situation, with very little modification, that could have very easily caused the death of one their own. It is too bad that this company, as well as many others, do not incorporate safety at the design stage of their business. This particular operation should have included a set of written work instructions that took into account all the possible hazards and a directive to use all manageable safety procedures before the work was to be initiated.
It is my sincere wish that governments, such as the one in Saskatchewan, include a permanent corrective action plan which includes the protection of the worker. It is a step in the ‘Road to Zero’.
Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer