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Baffinland faces 16 safety charges

photo courtesy of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. Comments to the Nunavut Impact Review Board on Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.'s production increase proposal show a general dissatisfaction with the level of detail to support the company's claims the increase's effects can be categorized as "not significant."

The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) has levelled 16 charges against Baffinland Iron Mines under the Mine Health and Safety Act.

Baffinland Iron Mines is facing 16 charges under the Mine Health and Safety Act. The accusations, filed by the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission, will go before the Nunavut Court of Justice. photo courtesy of Baffinland Iron Mines

The allegations include failing to supervise, instruct and train workers as necessary to protect their health and safety and failing to provide and maintain healthy and safe worksites.

The charges are scheduled to be heard in the Nunavut Court of Justice on Jan. 9.

The WSCC’s investigation was triggered by a fatal incident from December 2018 when a contract employee died while operating a 745C rock truck at the Mary River mine, 160 km south of Pond Inlet.

Baffinland disagrees with the WSCC’s assertion that it has breached the Mine Health and Safety Act and “intends to vigorously defend itself,” stated Deborah Harron-Thomson, Baffinland’s manager of communications and stakeholder relations.

Harron-Thomson said the mining company has worked closely with the RCMP and WSCC to facilitate their investigations and has fully co-operated throughout. In addition, Baffinland conducted its own investigation and subsequently adopted remedial measures, she added.

“Baffinland is forever saddened by the loss of a dear colleague and friend to many. At the same time, this can never compare to the sorrow that this individual’s family continues to experience,” Harron-Thomson stated. “Health and safety is the highest priority and a value at Baffinland. It is of the utmost importance that every Baffinland employee and contracted employee return home safely to their families each and every time.”

About the Author: Derek Neary

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