Blog Post #1140 – Mine Worker Injured by Equipment, Company Fined $70,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker suffered critical injury while riding in the bucket of a scooptram (similar to a front-end loader). The accident happened at the FNX Mining Company’s copper ore mine (Morrison Mine) near Onaping (Sudbury area), Ontario.

On January 11, 2017, a worker was performing remote mucking (loading extracted ore) from a draw point (a funnel-shaped opening through which the ore is removed). The worker was using a scooptram (a Load Haul Dump truck equipped with a front-mounted bucket, used to move broken rock/ore in a mine).

After some time, the worker noticed that the in-and-out movement of the scooptram in the draw point had damaged ventilation tubing and the area was filling up with the diesel fumes from the scooptram. A supervisor directed a second worker to help with the repair.

The two workers placed a 5′ x 11′ section of screen mesh in the bucket of the scooptram, intending to elevate it at a particular place at the draw point, where it would be used. It was agreed that the first worker would work from the bucket to carry out the repairs, while the second worker would operate the scooptram.

About half of the mesh section was outside of the bucket, so the first worker got into the bucket and stood on top of the mesh to weigh it down and prevent it from moving. The second worker raised the bucket and curled it back, in order to lift the part of the mesh section that was still on the ground.

As the bucket rotated back and up, the worker in the bucket was pinched between the bucket and the frame of the machine as the hydraulic cylinder was closing. The worker suffered crushing injuries requiring surgery.

The operator’s guide for the scooptram states that riders should not be allowed in the bucket. The Ministry of Labour engineer who examined the scooptram concluded that the scooptram was not designed for the particular task for which it was being used, given the potential hazards of pinch points, among others.

Following a guilty plea, the company was fined $70,000 by Justice of the Peace Michael G. Kitlar in Sudbury court; Crown Counsel Judy L. Chan.

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:

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

“The employer shall,

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

Pretty standard, don’t you think? In fact. There is a section in the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ sector regulation that covers this as well.

Section 93 subsection (3) of regulation 213/91 states,

“All vehicles, machines, tools and equipment shall be used in accordance with any operating manuals issued by the manufacturers.”

I wonder if the operator, supervisor or employer has actually read the manual.

Due Diligence!

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

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 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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

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