Vale fined $124,000 for incident at Thompson, Man. mine

Emergency eyewash station not available, worker suffered permanent eye injury

Vale fined $124,000 for incident at Thompson, Man. mine
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Mining company Vale Canada has been fined $124,000 for a worker’s permanent eye injury.


On April 30, 2016, Vale Canada workers were tasked with grouting cables (filling holes in the rock face containing cables with liquid grout) on the 4070 level of the T3 Mine in Thompson, Man. To fill the holes, workers stood on an elevated scissor deck. The workers used a pressurized Rock Bolt & Cable Grouter to pumped liquid grout into the holes through a pressurized 1.05” diameter polyethylene hose.


While filling one of the holes, the pressurized hose ruptured spraying two workers in the face with liquid grout. The grout entered one of the worker’s left eye. With no eyewash station available on the scissor deck workers used a water bottle in an attempt to flush the eye. The injured worker was brought down from the scissor deck and transported to the level 4070 retreat station but there was no eyewash station available there either.


The injured worker was driven for approximately five minutes to level 4250 where they were able to flush the eye using an eyewash station. The worker was then brought to the surface where he received another eye flush from the T3 Mine first aid attendant. The worker was transported to Thompson General Hospital and then transferred to Winnipeg for further treatment.


The worker suffered a permanent eye injury as a result of the incident.


On Dec. 17, Vale Canada pleaded guilty to section 21.2(3) of Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Regulations, M.R. 217/2006 to the charge of failing to ensure emergency eyewash equipment was readily available to its worker while he operated and worked in close proximity to the CG-542 Rock Bolt and Cable Grouter.


Source: Government of Manitoba