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Frost Chunk Sends Worker to Hospital – March 1st, 2017

3/1/2017

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Not trying to down play the severity of this issue, as the Union is very concerned about the possible outcome, Kyle was actively discussing the current safety culture at Highland Valley Copper with key Company representatives at the same time this incident happened today.

At approx. 1:30PM, a shovel operator was attempting to load out a very large frost chunk that was in the dig face.  The shovel operator told the haul truck operator to “hang on” and opened the shovel door.  The load got stuck, and the operator tried to shake it loose.  When the chunk did come out, it landed off center in the box of the haul truck, with enough of an impact it nearly flipped the haul truck on its side.  Witness’s said that the 240 ton truck stood up on it’s two tires, before coming back to rest on all four tires.

The employee inside the haul truck was jarred severely, making hard contact on their temple on the Wenco panel, as well as being thrown violently around the truck.  Luckily, the operator was wearing a seat belt and the truck did not end up on its side.  The operator was sent to medical aid, and then to ER for a follow up in Kamloops, and was released tonight.

The Union has discussed the issue with all three safety reps on the crew, and not one of them was contacted after the event.  As far as we know, the scene was not locked down, there was no investigation, and no safety rep was called to attend what the Union is calling a Near Hit.  The potential for the truck to flip over was real, and if it had done so, the outcome could have been much more severe.  On top of this, there was serious enough injury to the employee to send them both to medical aid and ER, it is only prudent to secure the scene and investigate this very serious issue.   With the scene not being locked down, it make’s nearly impossible to re-create the event, get statements from witnesses, investigate fully and make recommendations to ensure this does not happen again.

This is not the first time an employee has been injured while being loaded, and no investigation was sat.  Not only will the OSHEC committee not be able to make recommendations about ways to decrease or eliminate the issue, it makes it very hard to prove that the injury sustained actually happened at site, which has lead to WCB not accepting a work place injury.

At this time, we remind all employees their responsibility to refuse unsafe work.  We also remind all employees to report unsafe acts, or situations that are not being reported.  It makes it extremely difficult to fix problems that are not reported.  Please report any injury sustained on site immediately to your foreman and attend first aid.

The Union will be launching a full investigation tomorrow to find out why an investigation was not done.

———–-Safety is Ours————-

United Steel Workers Local 7619 OSHEC Committee

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Frost Chunk Sends Worker to Hospital

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