Nine orders issued to Vale [Sudbury mining deaths] – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – June 11, 2011)

The Sudbury Star, the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper. cmulligan@thesudburystar.com

McPhee said the emphasis is not on production, but on taking a “compassionate
approach” in dealing with employees who worked with and knew Fram and Chenier,
and are traumatized by their deaths. …  “The emphasis is on employees.”
(Cory McPhee – Vale VP Corporate Affairs)

The Ministry of Labour has issued nine orders — three of them stop-work orders — at Vale Ltd.’s Stobie Mine where two miners were killed Wednesday evening after a run of muck — or broken rock — descended on them.

The ministry, Vale, United Steelworkers and Greater Sudbury Police Service are all involved in the investigation into how the accident that killed Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, occurred.

Vale spokesman Cory McPhee said the company is complying with all orders and co-operating with the Labour ministry any way it can. The accident site is frozen, but production could resume soon in the rest of the mine where about 400 people work.

McPhee said the emphasis is not on production, but on taking a “compassionate approach” in dealing with employees who worked with and knew Fram and Chenier, and are traumatized by their deaths.

The return to work Friday of many employees was about “getting people together and slowly bringing Stobie back to production,” said McPhee. “The emphasis is on employees.”

That grief is being felt at other Vale operations as well, and counsellors were on site Friday to assist workers.

On Friday, the ministry issued orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ontario’s mining regulations to ensure the safety of employees working in the operation.

The experienced miners were killed in the No. 7 ore pass area at the 3,000-foot level of the mine.

The ministry ordered the accident scene, including the No. 7 ore pass from the 2,600-level to the 3,750- level, and the 3715 ore pass, not be used until released by investigators.

Vale was also ordered to provide information, including training records, production statistic slips, log books, worker names, plans and production crew lists, to the ministry.

The Labour ministry issued stop-work orders for:

the 3,715 ore pass, which must not be used until the source of water is determined and any hazards to workers eliminated;

the No. 7 ore pass, which cannot be used until the source of the water entering the ore pass has been determined and any hazards to workers eliminated; and

that no workers use the dump points access to the chute gates of the No. 7 ore pass circuit, and that no worker have access to the 3,750 crusher and 3,900 picking belt.

Using a section of the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants, the ministry issued an order requiring removal of water seen accumulating at the entrances to various ore passes and on the main travelways on 2,600-, 2,450-and 2,400-foot levels of the mine.

The company must also guard against an accumulation of water in a chute or raise where the material in the chute or raise may block drainage. Water was seen flowing into the top of the 3,715 ore pass, the ministry order said. Water must be prevented from flowing into the ore pass, the order said.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3166433

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