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Falconbridge fined $50,000 for worker burned by acid

NEWS RELEASE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF LABOUR ************************* TIMMINS, ON, April 13 - Falconbridge Limited, a Toronto-based mining corporation which owns Kidd Metallurgical Site in Timmins, was fined $50,000 on April 5, 2007 for a violation of th
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NEWS RELEASE

ONTARIO MINISTRY OF LABOUR

************************* TIMMINS, ON, April 13 - Falconbridge Limited, a Toronto-based mining corporation which owns Kidd Metallurgical Site in Timmins, was fined $50,000 on April 5, 2007 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in burns to an employee.

On September 25, 2004, a worker was transferring "sulphuric acid" (a caustic by-product that is formed when metal is extracted from ore) from one railway tank car to another when the acid sprayed from a hose.

The worker suffered minor burns to the face, arms and neck.

Just prior to the incident the worker had detached the hose from the first railway tank car after depressurizing the tank.

The incident occurred at the company's Kidd Metallurgical Site, a surface plant on Highway 101 East in Timmins that extracts copper, zinc and nickel from mined ore.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found the tank was not completely depressurized when the worker detached the hose.

The worker had used an inadequate method to determine whether the tank was depressurized.

Following a trial, Falconbridge Limited was found guilty of failing, as an employer, to ensure the pressurized tank was drained before the hose was detached from the first railway tank car, as required by Section 56(b) of the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Alex Spence of the Ontario Court of Justice in Timmins.

In addition, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act.

The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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