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Mine mill fined $75,000 for conveyor injuries.

Mohawk Garnet, a mining mill operating in Wahnapitae, east of Sudbury, pleaded guilty in provincial offences court, Aug. 19, and was fined $75,000 after two separate incidents in which workers were injured by moving conveyor belts.

The company specializes in the extraction and production of garnet and hornblende for the abrasives industry.

On Jan. 14, 2015, a worker at the company's wet mill was performing maintenance on a feed conveyor which moves coarse ore from outside to a bin inside the mill. The cold weather caused the belt of the conveyor to lose contact with the head pulley, resulting in the belt slipping. To rectify the problem, workers used a propane-fed torch to heat the pulley while the conveyor was in operation.

The worker was setting up to use the torch, tripped and fell backwards onto the conveyor and clothing was pulled into the rotating head pulley. The worker suffered multiple injuries from contact with the conveyor belt and required surgery.

Three weeks later, on Feb. 5, 2015, at the same mill, a worker was engaged in adjusting and unplugging a conveyor system water spray bar, used to help in the flow of ore onto conveyors. This worker also suffered extensive injuries from contact with the conveyor belt, and also required surgery.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found the conveyors did not have proper guards to prevent contact with an accessible pinch point.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that measures and procedures prescribed by the Mines and Mining Plants Regulation were carried out in the workplace.


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Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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