Inquest into death of Paul Rochette continues in Sudbury

The coroner’s inquest into the 2014 death of a smelter work in Sudbury continues on Tuesday.
The only other worker present when Paul Rochette died at Vale's Copper Cliff Smelter has no memory of the incident. A coroner's inquest into the death is being held in Sudbury this week. (Facebook)

The coroner's inquest into the 2014 death of a smelter work in Sudbury continues on Tuesday.

Paul Rochette died on April 6, 2014 while working at Vale's Copper Cliff smelter while attempting to free a metal object from the smelter's ore crusher.

Vale already pleaded guilty to four charges under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act in 2016.

On Monday, about 50 people gathered in a courtroom for day one of the five-day inquest.

The goal of the inquest this week isn't to place further liability on any one person or company, but rather to prevent such an incident from happening again.

The first witness was Gord Gilpin, the mine's maintenance manager.

He was there largely to familiarize the five-person jury with the technical jargon that will be used throughout the  inquest.

Gilpin also explained how the mill's ore crushers worked, and briefly described general safety procedures.

Mining company to participate

Dr. Ray Sawkiw is presiding as the inquest's coroner and 13 witnesses are expected to take the stand by week's end.

In an email, Vale's spokesperson Angie Robson says the company has every intention to participate in the inquest.

Company representatives, as well as some of Rochette's family members were among those on hand to open the inquest.

Over the next few days, more witnesses who were working with Rochette the day he died will also testify.

With files from Benjamin Aubé