The death of two miners at Lockerby Mine was preventable, according to a five-member coroner’s inquest jury, and they are calling for more training and safety measures to prevent future deaths.

The jury heard poor mining practices are being blamed for the fall of rock that killed Marc Methé and Norm Bisaillon on June 6th, 2014.

The inquest heard the two men were smothered to death by a fall of material as they worked at the mine’s 6,500-foot level.

A Ministry of Labour lawyer testified poor mining practices that led to the unsafe working conditions preceding the men’s deaths.

The jury put forth seven recommendations directed at various ministries.

The men worked as subcontractors with Taurus Drilling Services.

The company was found not guilty of all charges.

However, the owner of the mine, First Nickel was fined $1.3-million but went bankrupt in August 2015.

The following is the complete list of jury recommendations:

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Training College and University: The Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities prepare a training package for all mine employees regarding s. 43 of the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Internal Responsibility System (IRS)

 

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Labour: The Ministry of Labour shall require the employer to post a copy of s. 43 of the OHSA and a document explaining the Internal Responsibility System in a prominent place in each workplace.

 

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Labour: The Mining Legislative Review Committee (MLRC) must recommend to the Ministry of Labour that they develop legislation with respect to re-entry protocol after a recorded seismic event in an underground mine. The legislation should include ensuring the appropriate microseismic monitoring system exists in areas where individuals are located. The results of the microseismic monitoring system must be made visible and the re-entry protocol displayed prominently.

 

  1. Recommendation to the Province of Ontario, specifically the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines: The closure plan must include data collected pursuant to s. 72 of the Mines and Mining Plants R.R.O. 1990, Reg 854.

 

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Labour: The Jury recognizes that the MLRC is currently working towards amendments to Regulation 854 with respect to adopting a “Management of Change Process” (Recommendation 2.1). It is recommended that the MLRC prioritize finalizing their recommendation to the Ministry of Labour in order to implement the proposed “Management of Change Process.”

 

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Labour: The jury recognizes that the MLRC, specifically the ground control sub-committee, is currently working towards amendments to Regulation 854 with respect to recommendation 1.4 to create guidelines pertaining to ground control. It is recommended that the MLRC prioritize finalizing their recommendation to the Ministry of Labour to create a guideline that covers all ground control-related sections in the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants.

 

  1. Recommendation to the Ministry of Labour: Mining companies in Ontario be required to ensure proper communication of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health and safety of contract workers on their property. In particular, maintain a consolidated logbook of pertinent information recorded and read by all contractors as well as mine employees, which would facilitate communication of information within the workplace.