Mine safety recommendations already being implemented in Sudbury
Province reviewed industry’s safety procedures and made 18 recommendations
The Sudbury miner killed last week, Richard Pigeau, is the first to die underground since the province reviewed the industry's safety procedures and made 18 recommendations.
The 54-year-old was killed at Glencore's Nickel Rim South Mine when he was hit by a piece of underground machinery.
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The review was prompted by a string of deaths underground in recent years: between 2011 and October 22, 2015, there have been eight mining deaths in the Sudbury area, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. That number excludes death from natural causes, death of non-workers at a workplace, suicide, death as a result of a criminal act or traffic accident, and death from occupational exposures that occurred many years ago.
Review is 'a beginning, not an end'
Chief prevention officer George Gritziotis and his committee made the recommendations this spring on how to make mines safer.
"What this tragedy highlights is that the review is not a beginning and an end. We need to be vigilant. And we need all workplaces and employers to be vigilant on an ongoing basis," he said.
The recommendations come into effect this summer, but Gritiziotis says several of his recommendations are already being implemented, such as a requirement to wear reflective clothing underground.
Gritziotis says another change that's already been made is for annual risk assessments of mining operations.
"On a regular basis, as a result of our risk assessments, our inspectors conduct blitzes on high priority areas," he said.
He says he can't comment on this latest death until more details are known.