Blog Post #557 – Rollover Claims Potash Miner

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A worker died when the vehicle he was operating under ground at a potash mine near Colonsay, Saskatchewan flipped over.

Just before 11 AM on June 16, 2011, police were called to Mosaic Company’s mine. Clinton Walker, 35, was driving a Jeep-like vehicle on a roadway at the mine when it apparently ran onto the tail of a material pile and overturned, reports Stephen Hunt, director of the Western Canada District of the United Steelworkers Union in Burnaby, British Columbia.

“It’s just tragic,” Hunt says, adding that Walker had been with Mosaic since 2004 and had been a member of the company’s mine rescue team.

Mosaic spokesperson Brad DeLorey says grief counselors were made available to all workers and to Walker’s family.

Mosaic witnessed another deadly incident two years ago. A worker at a mine in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, died after raw ore bin collapsed in the material inside spilled out.

Glennis Bihun, executive director of the Occupational Health and Safety division of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety in Regina, reports that the related investigation report were forwarded to Saskatchewan’s Justice Ministry.

My opinion

It seems to me that Mosaic Company needed to ensure safe work procedures for almost every application and I do wonder if they have a health and safety committee at all, or if one is active. The hazards discussed previously could easily have been avoided if they had been recognized early and controls put in place to deal with.
The mining industry, on the whole, is one of the safest. Minds are usually isolated and health and safety control plans have to be in place to deal with immediate issues because rescue may be close to an hour away. On-site rescue plans and on-site safety procedures must be in place and every mine that doesn’t have these are placing their workers at risk. Here we have a potash miner placed at risk!

The safest bet is to change the culture to one of safety. A safety culture does not have to be costly; it is an attitude adjustment. Most companies see the benefit of adding safety to every level of management and area of production.

If your company does not have safety is the overriding priority then you become the voice of reason and attempt to make changes. All it takes is one voice!

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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