MRO Magazine

News

Labour ministry issues 9 work orders after deaths of 2 miners


The Ontario Labour Ministry has issued a total of nine work orders, including two work-stoppages, after two miners died underground in Sudbury, Ont.

Ministry spokesman William Lin says the work orders were issued to Vale to ensure the workplace is safe and workers aren’t exposed to immediate dangers at its Stobie mine.

Several orders deal with excessive water around ore passes and travel ways, but Lin would not speculate if that’s what led to the accident.

"Our investigators found an accumulation of water at the locations and our inspectors have issued orders to ensure the accumulation of water is removed and addressed," Lin said.

Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, both of Sudbury, died Wednesday night when they were overtaken by loose rock known as "muck." It happened as the two men were working 900 metres underground in an ore pass — a vertical opening where ore is dropped to a lower level for handling.

Lin said the inspectors will determine if health and safety regulations were followed and will ensure the workplace is safe during the investigation.

"We also determine whether or not there have been contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the past, specifically anything in relation to this incident," he said.

Sudbury police, Vale and the Steelworkers union are also investigating.

Vale hasn’t set a date for resuming full production at the mine. The company is making counselling available and employees have been told they can stay home if they wish. Other work will be found for those who report for duty.