A new registry of former employees of the defunct Baie Vert Asbestos Mine in Newfoundland has been created to help identify former mine workers who may have developed asbestos-related diseases and determine their general state of health.
The registry was the result of collaboration among Newfoundland’s Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC), the Baie Verte Peninsula Miners’ Action Committee and the United Steel Workers (USW).
With the creation of the registry, former employees of the mine, including contractual employees, will be asked for their consent to participate by providing their employment history, asbestos exposure information and health status, the WHSC said.
The Baie Verte Asbestos Mine was established in 1955 and employed about 3,000 employees. It ceased operations in 1992.
“This new collaborative approach between the commission, the USW and the Baie Verte Miners’ Action Committee is a positive step in the right direction of addressing the emerging issue of occupational disease for the workers of our province,” said Ralph Tucker, chair of the board of directors of the WHSCC.
The USW expressed support for the new registry, calling it a “breakthrough agreement for the USW and workers everywhere.”
“With the critical information obtained through the registry, it will be a turning point for fair compensation for victims of occupational disease,” said Nancy Hutchison, USW Ontario/Atlantic health, safety and environment coordinator.
Newfoundland’s Memorial University has been tasked to complete the information for the registry, said the USW, adding it will actively work with its members across Canada, the WHSCC and the Baie Verte Community to help locate former mine employees, regardless of their health status, and ask them to register.
Work on the registry begins this month, which will include additional information communicated publicly on how parties can become involved in the registry process.
To contact the Baie Verte Miners’ Registry call 1-888-737-7250 or visit its web site at [a href="www.baieverteminers-registry.ca" target="_blank"]www.baieverteminers-registry.ca
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