Blog Post #585 – Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. Fined 2 x $50,000

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A $100,000 fine has been ordered for company that operate in Ontario gold mine following two separate incidents.

Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. received the penalty in early September for violations of Ontario’s OH&S Act and its regulations for “Mines and Mining Plants”, notes a statement from the MOL.

The company pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to supervise the implementation of procedures for instances were two trains may meet one another on a single track, and failing to ensure ground conditions were checked for dangers and hazards before work got under way. Fines of $50,000 apiece were levied for the violations.

The first incident occurred on February 24, 2009.When a machine and a tunnel off the main haulage line at a flat tire, one crew was sent to examine the machine before retrieving a replacement tire from storage.

While travelling along the tracks in the tram (a train made up of a motor and ore cars) crew members saw tire of the curve in the mainline and assumed it would fit.

Unaware the train had stopped, her crew in a second tram slammed into the first, crushing and seriously injuring one worker, the MOL reports.

Several months later in August, a worker was installing ground support and a working face and a horizontal tunnel when a piece of loose rock fell. The rock glanced a drill and hit the worker, resulting in leg injuries.

A provincial investigation determined that Kirkland Lake Gold failed to follow bolt patterns used to stabilize rock excavations as prescribed by the mine plan, used bolts that were significantly shorter than what was required, and had not properly cleared screening along the wall and roof of the drift of loose rock.

My opinion

I, usually, let most people know that I find the mining sector one of the very safest. Still, this type of place still exists and it seems that the MOL needed to have spent more time visiting this place to better ensure the safety of the workforce.

I do hope that Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. learn their lessons from the two fines. There should always be a set of safe work procedures, set in place, after all hazards have been identified. Obviously, these hazards weren’t recognized and, therefore, nothing was ever put in place to protect the workforce.

HRS Group Inc. stands ready to help any and all companies complete a hazard assessment at their facility. We also stand ready to help our clients, both old and new, become safer work areas. Give us a call now!

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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