[Sudbury] Union presses for safety probe – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – January 26, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The result of a Ministry of Labour investigation into the Jan. 29, 2012 death of Vale miner Stephen Perry confirms the need for an inquiry into mine safety in Ontario, says the president of the union to which Perry belonged.

Rick Bertrand, head of United Steelworkers Local 6500, repeated the call for an inquiry originally made after the investigation into the deaths of Stobie miners Jason Chenier, 35, and Jordan Fram, 26, on June 8, 2011.

The labour ministry released its summary report on Perry’s death Friday, saying it would not be laying charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. In the Stobie deaths, 15 charges were laid by the ministry against Vale and one of its supervisors, under that same act, and they are proceeding through the court system.

Bertrand said the labour ministry’s investigation confirmed a finding of the union’s joint investigation with Vale into Perry’s death at Coleman in Levack. “Stephen Perry was killed even though he did everything right at work that day,” said Bertrand. “This tragedy re-confirms there is more we can, and must, do to prevent workplace deaths.” 

Perry, 47, was operating heavy machinery 4,215 feet underground at Coleman when he was struck by a 14-ton piece of rock that dislodged from the face, or wall, of an ore body.

The union-company investigation produced 15 recommendations, and progress has been made on implementing some of them, said Bertrand.

“We are committed to ensuring all of the recommendations are implemented,” he said in a news release Friday.

Key recommendations include bolting the face of an ore body before performing work at the face, and introducing new equipment and technology to better protect miners working in such situations.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/01/25/steelworkers-renew-call-for-mine-safety-inquiry