Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A mine worker suffered fatal injuries on April 2, 2012 after being struck by a piece of rock at Lake Shore Gold Corp’s Timmins West underground mine.

The worker was rendered unconscious and transported to the Timmins and District Hospital before succumbing to his injuries, MOL spokesperson William Lin confirms from Toronto.

Dan Gagnon, Senior VP of operations for Lake Shore Gold, reports that Trevor King was hit by the piece of rock while loading a development round, typically placed into holes during blasting, on the mine’s 730 meter level.

The company voluntarily shut down the mine for a couple of days. “We have been focusing on communication and providing counselling to our employees,” Gagnon said. Company officials were investigating the incident.

Rick Bertrand, president of Local 6500, of the United Steelworkers Canada Union in Sudbury, Ontario, is called for a public inquiry into mining in Ontario. He noted there has been a lot of changes since the last such review was conducted about three decades ago.

In less than a year, a half-dozen mining fatalities have occurred in northeastern Ontario, he reports. Bertrand points to the similarities between the latest totality and another on January 29, 2012, in Levack, Ontario.

Stephen Perry, a 47 year old mine worker, was working more than 1200 m below surface at Vale Limited’s Coleman nickel mine when rock in the passage fell, crushing him. He was using a machine to load and ammonium nitrate/fuel oil blasting agent into rock in an area being developed for future mining. Perry was brought to the surface, where he was pronounced dead.

My opinion

The mining sector, has had a reputation for being one of the very safest sectors we have in the workplace today. During 2012, safety seems to have been misplaced, and a mine worker were put at risk.

There is no need for this to happen. Every step in the procedure should’ve been documented, all hazards assessed, and controls put in place so that the operation was handled in a safe manner.

Please ensure that your workplace completes hazard assessments prior to any work being done and that those hazards found are dealt with properly through some type of control plan. If your company has trouble completing a hazard assessment, HRS Group Inc. stands ready to assist you. Scott Robinson brings many years of mining experience and Angela Beal has completed numerous hazard assessments and can have a completed report in record time.

This is just one more way HRS Group Inc. provides services to its customers.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Mining Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at info@hrsgroup.com

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

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