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Labour ministry continues probe into smelter death

(Canadian OH&S News) -- Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) continues to investigate a workplace fatality at a smelter in the Copper Cliff neighbourhood of Sudbury.


(Canadian OH&S News) — Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) continues to investigate a workplace fatality at a smelter in the Copper Cliff neighbourhood of Sudbury.

At about 7 p.m. on April 6, the MOL was notified that two workers were found unconscious in the crushing end of Vale’s Copper Cliff smelter complex, ministry spokesperson Bruce Skeaff told COHSN. The workers received first aid until emergency medical services arrived to transport them to hospital.

Skeaff said that one worker died from his injuries and a second worker was injured and remains under observation at hospital.

The scene was secured by the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) overnight and will remain so until released by the MOL. Skeaff said that two oh&s inspectors — who had been dispatched to the scene to commence an investigation — would return to the scene the following morning to continue their probe.

No further details were available and no orders had been issued as of COHSN press time.

The GSPS identified the deceased worker as 36-year-old Paul Rochette of Greater Sudbury. The second worker, a 28-year-old man, suffered serious injuries, but remains in hospital in stable condition.

Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle, who worked for 34 years at Vale when it was called Inco, said in a statement on April 7 that he was “thinking today of the Vale smelter worker killed Sunday and praying for the family of the other injured worker. All of Greater Sudbury and Nickel Belt and the mining community will feel this loss,” he said.

Rochette’s death is the fourth workplace fatality at Vale in the past three years. In January 2012, Stephen Perry was killed at Vale’s Coleman mine while operating heavy machinery about 1,200 metres underground. Perry was struck by a piece of rock that had dislodged from the wall of an ore body. In June 2011, Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, were killed when about 350 tons of wet, sandy muck came barreling down an ore pass. The company received a total fine of $1,050,000, the highest-ever in Ontario in connection with the fatalities.


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1 Comment » for Labour ministry continues probe into smelter death
  1. Nadine Neil says:

    I find it disturbing to see the continual fatalities occurring. It appears that Vale’s safety system is needing an over haul.

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