Goldcorp fined $350,000 [for fatal mining accident] – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – October 12, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Goldcorp Canada has been fined $350,000 in connection with a fatal accident that occurred underground at the Hoyle Pond gold mine in March 2011.

The company pleaded guilty in a Timmins court Thursday to a Ministry of Labour charge of failing to provide sufficient information, instruction and supervision to protect the safety of its workers.

The charge stems from an incident in which David Yuskow Sr., a 57-year-old electrician who worked at the mine, was crushed by a scoop tram at the 1,390-foot level.

Wes Wilson, special prosecutor for the Ministry of Labour, said the mine had a procedure for alerting scoop tram operators about “pedestrians” working nearby but, at the time, it was not enforced in the area where the accident occurred.

“The procedure required the placement of signs and amber lights to alert equipment operators to the presence and proximity of workers,” Wilson explained. “Signs and lights were readily available to the workers at the time of the incident.”

However, the procedure was only being enforced on ramps and in areas where there were tracks for hauling materials.

“It did not expressly apply to these production travel ways, so there was no need to train guys to do this or enforce in any way the use of the signs and lights,” Wilson explained outside the courtroom. “That’s the difficulty here is that the driver just had no idea this guy was inside the travel way.”

On the morning of March 10, 2011, Yuskow along with another electrician and a mechanic arrived on the ramp adjacent to the production area, the court heard.

The two electricians were there to run some electrical lines in the production travel way.

Yuskow and the mechanic approached the scoop tram and had a conversation with the operator.

“The operator drove the scoop tram away from the meeting point, under the impression that only two other workers were present,” Wilson said. “The other electrician was still in the ramp area and had not been seen by the scoop operator.

“After the scoop tram departed, Mr. Yuskow began rolling out electrical cable into the travel way.”

When the scoop tram returned, it “rounded a curve, and came into view of the entrance point to the ramp area. He saw two cap lamps — those of the other electrician and the mechanic — near the entrance.

“This is what he expected, having only met and been aware of the two workers present from his earlier encounter. He was not aware of the proximity of Mr. Yuskow, who by this time had walked some 140 feet into the travel way with the electrical cable. Mr. Yuskow was not seen by the operator of the scoop tram and was run over and killed by the machine.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: