Nova Scotia’s Donkin coal mine suspends work after most current ‘roofing fall’ – OHS Canada Magazine

DONKIN, N.S.– Operations have been suspended at Cape Breton’s Donkin coal mine after a “roof fall,” the current in a string of events since last July, according to the provincial Labour Department.

None of the mine’s 128 employees were within at the time of the Dec. 28 incident, however work has actually been suspended until the business, Kameron Collieries ULC, completes a specialist review of operations and set of suggestions for the Labour Department’s approval.

Scott Nauss of the Labour Department said the province’s just underground coal mine– its twin tunnels extend 3 kilometres under the Atlantic Ocean– has actually seen 6 roofing falls given that July.

The department withdrawed the mine’s ground control authorization after the most current occurrence since the origin wasn’t instantly evident and since of the recurring pattern.

“Safety is a leading concern for my department and coal mining, as you understand, is a high threat market and we are treating it accordingly,” Nauss stated in an interview.

Nauss said roofing system falls have various levels of danger depending on where they occur in the mine and how much product falls. For instance, roofing falls in a mine’s travel pass have more quickly recognizable origin.

Nauss said he could not offer information on just how much material fell from the ceiling on Dec. 28, and where exactly the occurrence happened inside the mine.

There is no existing timeline for when the mine will submit its review to the department. Nauss said it depends on the business and its ground control specialist to complete the work.

“At this moment, the ball is in the company’s court to examine, propose restorative procedures, and then our role will be to evaluate those corrective procedures to ensure their adequacy,” he said.

Mine representative Shannon Campbell issued a statement explaining the incident as “certain negative geologic conditions beyond our control.”

“We have contacted experts in this field to assist us in conducting a thorough examination of the mine plan and, if essential, modify these plans and treatments,” the declaration read. “While we hope we can fix this matter quickly and return to work, our top concern as always, is the safety of our workers and contractors.”

The mine’s employees are not unionized and the company declined to talk about whether they will get payment while operations are indefinitely suspended, “out of regard for personal privacy.”

The Donkin mine resumed operating in 2017, promising well-paying tasks for the economically depressed region, however it has come to grips with ecological criticisms and issues about working conditions ever since.

During the very first three months of operation, Nova Scotia’s Labour Department released 10 compliance orders and 29 cautions for infractions of work environment security and underground mining guidelines, according to the Cape Breton Post.

Less than a year into operations, news broke that 49 employees at the mine had been let go with eight weeks pay.

In a statement Thursday, Tammy Martin of the provincial NDP called for a miners’ union to better protect the employees’ health and wellness.

“It’s horrible to think of what could have taken place if there had actually been workers in the mine when this roof collapsed,” Martin stated. “Repeatedly, the Liberal federal government has actually only responded to health and safety problems after they occur, instead of stopping problems prior to they start. It’s just a matter of time prior to somebody gets hurt.”

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