Kirkland Lake Gold fined $100,000 after workers injured in two incidents
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc., a company that operates an underground gold mine in Kirkland Lake, was fined $100,000 for violating Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after two workers were injured.
On Feb. 24, 2009, two crews were having lunch in the mine when they learned that a machine in a tunnel off the main haulage line had a flat tire. They were instructed to take one crew to examine the machine, before obtaining the appropriate tire from storage. One crew left with a tram — a train consisting of a motor and ore cars — and along the way, they found a tire placed at a curve in the main line and assumed it would fit. The second crew left shortly after, unaware the first crew had stopped to pick up the tire and was still on the main line. The second crew’s tram hit the other tram at the curve, crushing and seriously injuring a worker.
Kirkland Lake Gold pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to supervise the implementation of its procedure for instances where a train may meet another on a single track.
In a separate incident on Aug. 5, 2009, a worker was installing ground support at a working face in a drift — a horizontal tunnel — at the 4750-foot level. A piece of loose rock fell, glancing off a drill and hitting the worker, who suffered leg injuries. A Ministry of Labour investigation found that Kirkland Lake Gold failed to follow bolt patterns used to stabilize rock excavations as prescribed by the mine plan, and utilized bolts significantly shorter than what was called for. The investigation also found that the screening along the wall and roof of the drift had not been properly cleared of loose rock, also contributing to unsafe conditions. Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to ensure that ground conditions be examined for dangers and hazards before work was begun.
Kirkland Lake Gold Inc. was fined $50,000 for each conviction.