Witnesses finish testifying at Perry [mining death] inquest – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – February 14, 2016)


Two recommendations in the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review are being studied by a standing committee and, if implemented, would address ground control issues that may have contributed to the Jan. 29, 2012, death of Stephen Perry.

Development miner Perry, 47, died after he was struck by 14 tons of loose rock that slid off the ledge of an opening he was making in a drift at Vale’s Coleman Mine. The rock caused Perry to suffer massive, fatal, crushing head and chest injuries.

The last of more than a dozen witnesses was called Wednesday morning in a mandatory coroner’s inquest into Perry’s death. Provincial mining specialist Jamie Cresswell, with the Ministry of Labour, told the inquest jury of four women and one man that the standing committee is a sub-committee of the Mining Legislative Review Committee. The MLRC is comprised of equal industry and labour representation, and advises the Labour minister on mining issues and suggests legislative changes.

Some of the 18 recommendations that came out of the year-long Mining Review are being implemented, Cresswell told the inquest, and are under consideration by the MLRC.

The Mining Review, led by Ontario Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis, recommended, among other improvements, better risk assessment methods focused on seismicity and rockbursts.

In two days of testimony, the inquest heard that seismic activity likely didn’t directly cause Perry’s death. Vale senior ground control engineer Annetta Sampson-Forsythe testified that while a seismic event registering 2.4 occurred about 12 hours before Perry’s death, it happened at an adjacent mine and didn’t cause rock to fall on the miner.

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