Blog Post #1527 – Mining Company Fined $50,000 After Workplace Injury

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

A worker, employed by Impala Canada Ltd., of Toronto Ontario, a mining company that operates the Lac Des Iles Mine, an open-pit and underground palladium mine, suffered critical injuries after falling from a scissor lift work platform while installing a silencer on a fan in the Lac Des Iles Mine’s ventilation system. At the time, the guardrails on the scissor lift platform had been removed. Impala Canada Ltd. failed to ensure measures and procedures prescribed by the Mines and Mining Plants Regulation were carried out in the workplace.

On January 26, 2020, a worker was installing a silencer on a fan in the Lac Des Iles Mine’s ventilation system, which provides fresh air, removes or dilutes noxious fumes and regulates temperatures underground. The ventilation system includes large 122-centimetre diameter industrial fans, which are equipped with equally large, cylindrical steel silencers to dampen the fans’ operating noise.

The worker was using a mobile scissor lift work platform as a work surface while affixing a silencer to the ventilation system. The scissor lift included guardrails that could be removed for loading equipment onto its platform while at ground level.

The worker had been trained on the use of the scissor lift and the installation of underground ventilation equipment during their basic underground common core training program and was an experienced worker, who had worked with scissor lifts and performed the fan installation task many times prior.

The Lac Des Iles Mine also had a standard operating procedure in place for operating the scissor lift, which the worker had reviewed earlier that month. The standard operating procedure required that all guardrails be secured in place while working on the scissor lift platform.

However, the worker and two colleagues removed the guardrails to load the silencer onto the platform and lift it to the level of the fan. While the scissor lift was elevated, the worker stepped off the back of the platform, fell almost three metres and suffered critical injuries.

Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court in Thunder Bay, Impala Canada Ltd was fined $50,000 by Justice of the Peace Denette Ellard. Crown Counsel was David McCaskill.

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:

Impala Canada Ltd., was found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Mining and Mining Plants sector regulation 854/90, section 46, subsection 3 which states,

“Every walkway and every working platform more than 1.5 metres above the ground shall be provided with,

(a)  a handrail not less than 0.91 metre or more than 1.07 metres above the floor of the walkway or platform;

(b)  a second rail placed at the mid-point between the top rail and the floor of the walkway or platform or have the space between the top rail and the floor closed by a screen; and

(c)  toe-boards which shall extend from the floor a height of not less than 100 millimetres.”

This is contrary to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

I wish the employer would have used the construction sector regulation when it came to EWPs (Elevating Work Platforms). The section covering EWPs is very clear about the tie-off procedure.

Section 48, subsection 1(e) of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ regulation 213/91 states,

“An elevating work platform,

(e)  shall not be used, in the case of a self-propelled or vehicle-mounted boom-type elevating work platform or a vehicle-mounted aerial device, unless all workers on it are attached to an adequate anchorage point on the elevating work platform by a method of fall protection.”

The reader can see that the construction sector recognizes the need for stricter regulations. I do hope the mining sector catches up.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Fall Protection’, ‘Elevating Work Platform’ and ‘Working at Heights’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at

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.




Leave a Comment