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IOC pleads guilty over worker death
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Friday, 07 Dec 2012
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CBC News reported that the Iron Ore Company of Canada pleaded guilty to 3 of 5 charges related to the death of a worker.

Mr Eldon Perry, 56, died when scaffolding collapsed and he fell about seven meters at IOC's mine in Labrador City on March 18th 2010.

Another worker was badly injured in the accident.

Rio Tinto operates the Iron Ore Company of Canada mine in Labrador City. Rio Tinto operates the Iron Ore Company of Canada mine in Labrador City.

IOC is facing 5 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Mr David Eaton defense lawyer said that in a Wabush courtroom on December 5th that the company would plead guilty to breach of act and regulations; failure to ensure that workers are made aware of health or safety hazards and failure to provide information, instruction, or supervision to ensure health, safety and welfare.

Judge Ms Wynne Anne Trahey said that the company failed as an employer to ensure regulations were met for working on a higher surface. She said that most significant here are the lack of fall protection systems.

Judge Ms Trahey found IOC guilty on all 3 of those counts.

Crown outlines fines
The Crown is directing IOC to present a safety case to Occupational Health and Safety for its approval. The safety case ensures that IOC will work with Occupational Health and Safety to prevent this type of accident from happening again.

The possible fines in the case could go up to USD 750,000, but the Crown is recommending fines of USD 500,000.

Carpenter acknowledged "Significantly higher than anything that's been awarded in this province."

IOC has a record for Ocupational Health and Safety offences. The company's most recent conviction is a fall that took place in 2006.

Since 2006, IOC has been issued 882 directives to fix problems in lieu of laying charges.

Because of the company's significant revenues, Carpenter said its fines in this case need to be significant. The proposed fines would mount to 0.00167 per cent of Rio Tinto's annual revenue.

Defense sentencing submissions
Eaton said IOC took numerous steps after the fatal accident, including the installation of new platforms, the review of job safety processes, and an increase in the time dedicated to fall arrest training.

He said the company spent over USD 1 million to implement these changes.

Eaton claimed the Crown's demand for a fine of $500,000 was "unduly harsh, and does offend the principals of proportionality."

The defense said that the maximum amount that the judge should consider is USD 250,000.

Source - www.cbc


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