Vale required to produce safety plans – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 16, 2014)

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

A Ministry of Labour inspector is requiring Vale Ltd. to produce safety plans for the front-line supervisor, superintendent and managers for the area in which millright Paul Rochette was working when he was killed April 6 at the Copper Cliff Smelter Complex.

The requirement to produce the documents by April 25 is part of a phase of examining documentation in the Ministry of Labour’s investigation of the death of the 36-year-old father of two in the crushing and casting plant at the complex. Rochette suffered severe head trauma and another millwright, a 28-year-old man, suffered a concussion and facial lacerations in the accident.

It is believed that a large piston or moil, that crushes nickel-copper ingots at high pressure moving along a conveyor belt, broke off and ended up in the system and may have struck the men. The company and the men’s union, United Steelworkers Local 6500, are conducting a joint investigation into the accident.

The Ministry of Labour and Greater Sudbury Police Service are also investigating. The Labour ministry has control of the scene at this point in the investigation.

The millwrights were found at the start of their shift by their superintendent, Rochette without vital signs and the other man unconscious. Last week, the younger millwright was reported in stable condition in hospital although his injuries were later reported to be critical. His condition has not been updated this week.

The men had a combined 20 years’ experience in this type of work, although Rochette had only worked for Vale for two years and the younger millwright for a year.

The requirement to produce the safety plans is the latest issued by the ministry to Vale under Section 54 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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