Palladium mine in Thunder Bay, Ont., fined $50,000 after worker critically injured after falling from scissor lift
Health & Safety Fines Impala Canada Mining ontario
Toronto-based Impala Canada has been fined $50,000 by an Ontario court after a worker was injured at its Lac Des Iles Mine in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The mine is an open-pit and underground palladium mine.
On Jan. 26, 2020, a worker was installing a silencer on a fan in the Lac Des Iles Mine’s ventilation system, which provides fresh air, removes or dilutes noxious fumes and regulates temperatures underground. The ventilation system includes large 122-centimetre diameter industrial fans, which are equipped with equally large, cylindrical steel silencers to dampen the fans’ operating noise.
The worker was using a mobile scissor lift work platform as a work surface while affixing a silencer to the ventilation system. The scissor lift included guardrails that could be removed for loading equipment onto its platform while at ground level.
The worker had been trained on the use of the scissor lift and the installation of underground ventilation equipment during their basic underground common core training program and was an experienced worker, who had worked with scissor lifts and performed the fan installation task many times prior.
The Lac Des Iles Mine also had a standard operating procedure in place for operating the scissor lift, which the worker had reviewed earlier that month. The standard operating procedure required that all guardrails be secured in place while working on the scissor lift platform.
However, the worker and two colleagues removed the guardrails to load the silencer onto the platform and lift it to the level of the fan. While the scissor lift was elevated, the worker stepped off the back of the platform, fell almost three metres and suffered critical injuries.
Section 46(3) of Ontario Regulation 854/90 requires that “every walkway and every working platform more than 1.5m above the ground shall be provided with…a handrail not less than 0.91m or more than 1.07m above the floor of the walk or platform.”
Impala Canada Ltd. failed, as an employer, to ensure that the measures and procedures prescribed by the regulation were carried out in the workplace, contrary to section 25(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act, bringing the total fine to $62,500. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.