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Ineffective guarding results in $75,000 fine for driller after worker injured


Succession Forage George Downing Ltee./George Downing Estate Drilling Ltd., a Quebec mining company, was fined $75,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On January 18, 2011, workers were drilling at the Shakespeare Nickel Mine, 70 km west of Greater Sudbury. One of the workers was operating the controls of a drill when part of the worker’s clothes got caught in the drill’s rotating rod. The worker was pulled into the rotating rod and severely injured.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that while there was a guard in place on the drill it did not entirely prevent access to the drill’s moving parts.

Succession Forage George Downing Ltee./George Downing Estate Drilling Limited  pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the rotating rod of the drill was properly guarded.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Lori-Ann Toulouse. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent 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.