Timmins, ON – Goldcorp Canada Ltd., the operator of Hoyle Pond, a Timmins mine, has been fined $350,000 for a violation of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was killed.
On March 10, 2011, a worker was operating a scoop tram in a production area of the mine. A scoop tram is a type of mobile equipment used to pick up and move broken rock underground. Two workers approached the tram on foot and had a conversation with its operator about work to be done that day. The tram operator drove away to get a piece of equipment.
While the tram was gone one of the two workers on foot began laying electrical wire in the tram’s work zone and a third worker entered the area on foot. The tram operator returned to the area thinking there were only two workers there. The operator saw two cap lamps near the entrance and proceeded into the work zone unaware that there was a worker laying electrical wire there. That worker remained unseen and was run over and killed by the machine.
An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found that at the time of the incident Goldcorp had a procedure in place to alert equipment operators of workers in their area. This procedure required the placement of signs and flashing lights. While the signs and lights were readily available at the time of the incident, the procedure was not applicable in the area where the incident occurred.
Goldcorp Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that:
– there was a safety procedure in place in the area of the incident to protect workers when mobile equipment was being used
– workers were instructed on such a procedure
– the procedure was implemented through appropriate supervision.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Alex Spence. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25% 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.