Medical audit at western Labrador mine
IOC says it's working hard to improve mine safety
Researchers are measuring levels of silica dust at the Iron Ore Company of Canada facilities in western Labrador after the province put out a call for tenders for a medical audit of the mines last November.
IOC president, Zoe Yujnovich said Tuesday that the company has taken steps to improve working conditions.
"We are working extremely hard on ensuring that the work place conditions do not harm our people," said Yujnovich. "In fact, we have been doing considerable work around that both in the leadership ranks, in addition to engagement with our employees."
IOC says it has installed six dust monitoring sites in the community that have been up and running since December.
In 2007, the union representing workers at the Labrador City mine called for an investigation into cancer cases among former mine workers.
At the time, the United Steelworkers union said five cases involving workers at the Iron Ore Company of Canada mine in Labrador City should be reviewed by experts.
"I don't know if these cancers are work-related, but I want help from the government and from specialists to come in and investigate and decide the cause of the cancers, if they are work-related, and make sure they get the benefits they are entitled to," George Kean, president of the United Steelworkers local, told CBC News.
Officials with the Workplace, Health, Safety and Compensation Commission said they were willing to meet with the Steelworkers union on the matter.
Exposure to silica is known to cause a lung disease known as silicosis. Research suggests long-term exposure to silica may also lead to lung cancer.