Workers Health & Safety Centre

Worker deaths lead to $1,050,000 fine for Vale Canada Limited

Worker deaths lead to $1,050,000 fine for Vale Canada Limited
Vale Canada Limited (Vale) has been fined more than $1,000,000 for violating the Occupational Health & Safety Act (the Act) resulting in two miners being killed in June, 2011.
According to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the charges stemmed from Vale failing to take reasonable precautions to prevent the movement of material through an ore pass at their Stobie Mine in Sudbury. As a result, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were killed when overcome by a sudden release of muck, sand and water.
A MOL investigation “found that there had been a hang-up of wet muck in the ore pass. The wet muck was a result of Vale not dealing with water issues in the mine.”
A plea-bargain, negotiated between Vale and the MOL, was accepted by the courts. Vale pleaded guilty to three counts violating section 25(2)(h) of the Act. This section places the duty on employers to “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
The company was fined $350,000 for each of the three counts. The maximum fine for each charge under the Act is $500,000.
An additional six charges against Vale were dropped as part of the plea-deal, as were six charges against a supervisor.
The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers a range of training programs designed to help all workplace parties better understand their duties and responsibilities outlined in the Act, the Mines and Mining Plants Regulation and other occupational health and safety legislation.
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