Glencore Canada, owner-operator of the Nickel Rim South Mine, pleaded guilty and has been fined $200,000 in the death of a worker who was run over by a vehicle.
The incident took place on Oct. 20, 2015, at Glencore's base metal mine near Sudbury, Ont., which produces nickel and copper ore. A worker was operating a machine known as a load haul dump (LHD) used in the underground operation to move broken rock or ore. While operating the LHD on a ramp, it appeared the bucket of the vehicle made contact with a wall on the right. The LHD continued to move; the worker was ejected from the operator's compartment and was run over by one of the vehicle's tires. The worker died from the injuries.
The company established a joint investigation team of workers in the union and Glencore staff representatives. Investigations by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour and the joint investigation team suggested that the door to the operator's compartment of the vehicle opened while it was moving down the ramp. The initial contact with the wall was believed to cause the worker's ejection from the compartment (there were no witnesses). The worker was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident although there was a functioning seatbelt in the compartment. The Crown and the company agreed that the worker may have been injured in the incident while wearing the seatbelt but would likely not have been killed.
Glencore pleaded guilty to failing as an employer to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the safety of the worker, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act — specifically to failing to provide sufficient information regarding the use of the seatbelt while operating the LHD.
In addition to the $200,000 fine, the court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.