Unimin Canada Ltd. fined $200,000 after death of worker at mining facility

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. _ Toronto-based Unimin Canada Ltd. has been fined $200,000 and one of its supervisors was fined $20,000 after pleading guilty in the death of a worker at its facility in Nephton, Ont.

The worker was killed on Feb. 27, 2006, when he went to check on a bin of nepheline syenite ore, which is used to manufacture glass, ceramic and fibre-optic products.

In cold temperatures, the material can clump and freeze.

The worker was later found engulfed by nepheline syenite at a chute at the bottom of the ore bin, and the cause of death was determined to be compression asphyxia.

A Ministry of Labour investigation determined the bin was not fenced or otherwise guarded to prevent access, in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Unimin and plant superintendent Chris Adams of Peterborough, Ont., pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the bin was fenced or otherwise guarded.