Blog Post #960 – Mining, Paving Companies Fined Total of $95,000

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Two defendants, one a mining company and the other a paving company, pleaded guilty and have been fined $55,000 and $40,000 respectively after a worker was injured when a hopper containing sand toppled over.

The incident took place at a project owned by Goldcorp Canada Ltd. (operating as Porcupine Gold Mines) near 4361 Gold Mine Road in South Porcupine on September 24, 2014. The worker was employed by Miller Paving Ltd. (operating as Miller Paving Northern).

The project involved a three-ton sand hopper that was being used to direct sand into old mine voids located at the site.

At the time of the incident, the hopper was positioned above a drilled rock hole. The sand was not moving freely inside the hopper and the worker used an air lancer to facilitate sand movement. The worker was using the air lancer from ground level when a sudden shift of sand within the hopper occurred and the hopper began to tip over. The worker, who was near the hopper, attempted to run clear of it but the hopper and the sand fell on the worker; the supervisor and co-workers were able to free the worker, who sustained injuries.

A subsequent Ministry of Labour inspection revealed that the hopper was not built to any engineering specification that would ensure stability and prevent tipping without the use of a ballast. There were no records of supporting specifications. The hopper support frame was rectangular and did not provide complete support for the hopper in one plane of motion, and therefore shift of the material in the hopper could affect the hopper’s stability.

Goldcorp Canada and Miller Paving both pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by section 31(1)(b) of Regulation 213/91 – the Construction Projects Regulation – were carried out at the project, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Specifically, they pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the hopper was adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.

Goldcorp was fined $55,000 and Miller Paving was fined $40,000 by Justice of the Peace Sylvie-Emanuelle Bourbonnais in Timmins court on January 26, 2017.

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:

Goldcorp Canada and Miller Paving both pleaded guilty to one contravention of the Ontario ‘Construction Projects’ regulation 213/91, section 31(1)(b) which states,

“Every part of a project, including a temporary structure,

(b) shall be adequately braced to prevent any movement that may affect its stability or cause its failure or collapse.”

Goldcorp Canada and Miller Paving also pleaded guilty to one contravention each of 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.”

Both companies were found guilty of a reckless situation and were also found guilty of not knowing that they were.

All aspects of the OHSA and sector regulations must be known and acted upon to ensure worker safety. THAT is the law! I wonder how many people have actually read the greenbook!

HRS Group Inc. is a health and safety training company ready to aid your company in learning about the legislation but can help you see violations in your own worksite and suggest corrective action. Call Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 for more details.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

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




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