MRO Magazine

Falconbridge Limited fined $225,000 for mine repair incident

Timmins, ON -- Dec. 10, 2002 -- Falconbridge Limited, a Toronto-based mining corporation which owns the Kidd Creek...


Health & Safety

December 10, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Timmins, ON — Dec. 10, 2002 — Falconbridge Limited, a Toronto-based mining corporation which owns the Kidd Creek Mine about 27 km north of Timmins, was fined $225,000 on Nov. 26, 2002 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in the death of an employee.

On September 2, 2000, a worker was using a torch to cut a bolt from a coupling on an air pipe when the line blew apart. The worker was part of a four-person crew removing and re-installing a section of pipes which had fallen to the ground on a main access ramp between the 5300 and 5400 access drifts (tunnels), about 1,615 to 1,646 m below the surface.

The worker was taken to Timmins District Hospital with a severe head injury and died five days later.

An Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation found a valve below the scene was one-quarter open. This had resulted in the air pipeline remaining pressurized despite the closing of valves above the scene.

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Falconbridge Limited pleaded guilty to failing, as an employer, to ensure the pressure in the air pipeline system equalled atmospheric pressure before the worker removed the coupling on the system. This was contrary to Section 56 of the Regulations For Mines and Mining Plants and Section 25(1)(c) of the act.

The fine was levied by Justice Ralph Carr of the Ontario Court of Justice in Timmins. In addition, the court imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.