Mining Giant Glencore Fined $200K in Ontario After Worker’s Death

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By Peter Menyasz

Ontario mining operator Glencore Canada Corp. is facing a fine of C$250,000 ($200,000) after a worker was run over by a vehicle on site.

The Ontario Court of Justice levied the fine Aug. 28 after the Toronto-based Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore pleaded guilty to failing to provide safety information, instruction, and supervision to an employee, the Ontario Ministry of Labour said Aug. 28.

That was a violation of Section 25(2)(a) of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company faces these charges following an October 2015 incident at Glencore’s nickel and copper mine near Sudbury, Ontario, when a worker operating a load haul dump vehicle used to move broken rock or ore was ejected from the cab and run over by one of the vehicle’s tires, the ministry said in a statement.

Ministry investigators and a joint investigation team that included union and company officials concluded that the vehicle had a functioning seatbelt, but the worker wasn’t using it at the time of the accident, the statement said. The government and company agreed that the worker would have been injured even if he was wearing the seatbelt, but probably wouldn’t have been killed, it said.

The company has since adopted safety changes to prevent future similar incidents.

The death of the employee was “tragic and devastating” for all involved, as the worker was an experienced miner with nearly 20 years’ experience, Peter Xavier, vice president for Glencore’s Sudbury nickel operation, told Bloomberg BNA in an Aug. 28 email.

The findings of the joint investigation led to development of industry-leading improvements in seatbelt warning systems that have been implemented in collaboration with equipment providers, Xavier said.

“We have mandated that these improvements be utilized on all company and contractor equipment at our operations,” he said. “We are confident that our business is safer as a result, and that the industry at large will also benefit from these improvements. It is unacceptable that one of our employees did not return home to his family and we never want to see that happen again.”

The fine included a 25 percent victim fine surcharge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Menyasz in Ottawa at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachael Daigle at rdaigle@bna.com

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