Blog Post #568 – Falling Equipment Spurs Fine at Wabush Mines

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

An international mining and natural resources Company that operates a mine in Wabush, Labrador has been fined more than $80,000 following the injury of a worker three years ago.

Wabush Mines, which is owned by Cleveland-based Cliff Natural Resources Inc., was sentenced in late July 2011 after pleading guilty to two violations of Newfoundland and Labrador’s OH&S Act.

The first charge relates generally to the failure of the company to ensure that a hoist was operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the provinces Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, notes a release from the Department of Government Services in St. John’s. The second charge cites the failure to provide information, instruction and supervision necessary to ensure the health and safety of a worker.

Wabush Mines must pay fines of $30,000 on each charge, plus contribute $20,000 to Threads of Life, a registered charity that provide support to families affected by work-related fatalities, injuries or occupational diseases.

“This unfortunate incident occurred in 2008 before the present owner acquired full control, says Patricia Persico, Senior manager of media relations and marketing communications for the company. Cliff Natural Resources Inc. has sensed instituted numerous “improvements to protect our employees and mitigate hazardous wrist in the workplace,” Persico adds.

A company official must also present a safety case at an upcoming OH&S conference, the Department released adds.

A worker broken ankle and bones in the foot when an attachment on a dryer feeder being lifted tore away, and the equipment and a hoist fell.

My opinion

I realize that Cliff Natural Resources Inc. was not in full control of the company at the time, but, they should have realized that the company they were buying had deficiencies in the area of health and safety. There is no need for this! If every aspect of the job was documented and discussed during a tailgate meeting and every hazard on the job identified, assessed, and controlled, then the accident had a better chance of not happening at all. Supplementary health-care costs would go down as well.

Please ensure that your workplace becomes a safe place to work and it remains that way. Due Diligence is the KEY!

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’ 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</strong>
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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