COCHRANE, Ont. – Following a trial, Justice of the Peace L.M. Scully has fined Detour Gold Corporation $70,000 for failing to take the reasonable precaution of providing a suitable protective barrier along the open side of a haulage road.
In August 2014 a worker at the Detour Lake Gold mine, about 185 km northeast of Cochrane, Ontario was instructed to haul rock over to the area at the top of a tailings dam. The time was 4 a.m. and heavy fog had rolled in, causing severely reduced visibility.
There was no berm (a protective barrier) on the side of the road where the rock was to be dumped. The rock being hauled was to be used by a bulldozer operator to widen the ramp and road and build a berm.
The worker reversed to the area where the rocks were to be dropped; the truck was too close to the edge of a very narrow section of the road, where there was no berm, and the road gave way beneath the truck, which fell and flipped over onto its roof. The worker received critical injuries.
Berms provide both a physical barrier and a physical and visual guide for the equipment operators to prevent events such as this one.
The incident constituted an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, section 25(2)(h): failing as an employer to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. 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.