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Baffinland fined $170,000 after heavy equipment operator dies on the job

1311Operating mines 2
Nine workers at Baffinland Iron Mines' Mary River mine have been diagnosed as having a COVID-19 infection. photo courtesy of Baffinland Iron Mines

Baffinland Iron Mines has been fined $170,000 by the Nunavut Court of Justice for a 2018 incident that resulted in fatal injuries to a heavy equipment operator at the Mary River mine.

The penalty, under the Mine Health and Safety Act, was handed down Feb. 15 after the company pleaded guilty.

A victim fine surcharge of $25,500 was also imposed. That money will go to the Workers’ Protection Fund under the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC).

The mine site worker died as a result of too little training in regards to operation of loaded heavy equipment in specific conditions at Mary River, according to the agreed statement of facts. A combination of factors including speed, load weight and downhill gradient resulted in the Dec. 16, 2018 death.

Following the incident, mine operations were shut down and a report was submitted to the WSCC.

"Baffinland cooperated with the investigation and immediately implemented several interim orders that have remained in place following restart of the mine. Upon completion of Baffinland’s investigation into the incident, additional measures to improve worker safety at the worksite have been identified and put in place," the WSCC stated in a Thursday news release.

About the Author: Derek Neary

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