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Thunder Bay construction contractor pleads guilty to health, safety violation

0 47 OH&S

by Daily Commercial News

Construction contractor Lahti Construction and Design Inc. was fined $80,000 on June 19 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in injuries to five employees at Lac Des Iles Mine, an open pit mine near Thunder Bay.

THUNDER BAY

Construction contractor Lahti Construction and Design Inc. was fined $80,000 on June 19 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in injuries to five employees at Lac Des Iles Mine, an open pit mine near Thunder Bay.

In November of 2004, workers were using an excavator to pull a bundle of pipes and cables down two “bench levels” (levels of different heights within the open pit mine) of Lac Des Iles Mine and under a road through an existing conduit pipe when the bundle got stuck on a kink in the conduit pipe. More power was applied and the bundle broke free, sending some nearby workers flying into the air while others were struck by cable spools.

A total of five workers were injured, one of them receiving serious spinal injuries after falling over the edge of an embankment to a lower level. The injured workers were employed by Lahti Construction and Design Inc., which had been contracted by Lac Des Iles Mine to work on the mine’s underground water system. Lac Des Iles Mine is owned by North American Palladium.

Lahti Construction and Design Inc. pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to instruct and supervise the workers involved in the pulling operation on the dangers of that operation. This was contrary to Section 25(2)(a) of the act.

In addition, the court 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.

DCN NEWS SERVICES

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