Ongoing Safety Issues Reinforce Need for Mining Inquiry
SUDBURY, ON, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - A community-based committee created
after two workers were killed at Vale's Stobie Mine is shocked that a
Labour Ministry inspection of the same mine has resulted in 41 health
and safety orders against the company.
"It is deeply troubling for us that orders have been issued to Vale
related to concerns with standing water - the very hazard that
contributed to the deaths of Jason Chenier and my brother, Jordan
Fram," said Briana Fram of the MINES (Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone's
"How can it be that, only 17 months after Jason and Jordan were killed,
Vale is being ordered by the Ministry of Labour to rectify problems
with standing water in this same mine?" Fram asked.
The community-based MINES committee was formed last month to ask the
provincial government to call an inquiry into Ontario mines. Such an
inquiry has not been held in three decades.
The Ministry of Labour inspection of Stobie Mine occurred October 17,
2012. At least 10 of the orders issued to Vale, under terms of the
provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act, are directly linked to
The orders issued to Vale also come as the company and one of its
supervisors are being prosecuted in the courts on numerous OHSA charges
related to last year's fatalities at Stobie Mine.
"We believe the results of this latest inspection reveal a disregard for
workers' safety," said Fram. "It's another clear example of why an
inquiry is needed to improve and modernize our mine safety system."
In 1996, miner Clifford Bastien was killed at Stobie Mine in a run of
wet material. A coroner's jury into the fatality made recommendations
linked to water-related hazards, but a number of those recommendations
were never implemented.
The MINES committee believes the deaths of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier
could have been prevented if the recommendations from the Bastien
inquest had been implemented.
"We continue to see disturbing examples of why existing regulations and
legislation are not adequately protecting workers," said Fram.
"After three decades, a mine safety inquiry is long overdue. Our
spouses, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our
grandchildren need to be protected at work. Our community and all
mining communities in Ontario need a public inquiry."
SOURCE: Mining Inquiry Needs Everyone's Support (MINES) Committee
For further information:
Briana Fram, MINES committee, 705-562-5940, firstname.lastname@example.org