SUDBURY, Ontario – The jury at a coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier has made 24 recommendations intended to improve mine safety in the province of Ontario. The two men died in Vale‘s Stobie mine during an uncontrolled run of muck in June 2011.
The jury returned the large number of recommendations despite having been asked to consider only eight. The recommendations do not have to be implemented, but there will be pressure to adopt them. The jury’s final recommendation was an endorsement of the 42 points identified by Vale and the United Steelworkers local. And that those recommendation should become mandatory at all Ontario mines.
Several of the recommendations were directed at mine owner Vale. It is recommended that safety and production be given equal weight; that more safety standards training be conducted; that more inspections be done on equipment that transports material; that all ore passes be fitted with a mantle or grizzly; and that the joint health and safety committee is notified when a double barricade is erected or when water accumulates.
Most of the recommendations were aimed at the provincial ministries of labour, community safety and correctional services, and training, colleges and universities. These cover the gamut from more supervisors’ visits to more training to standardized signage to stepped up mine inspections to the study of how moisture affects material stability and the creation of a province-wide policy.
Also, any party who has been the subject of a coroner’s inquiry should respond in writing within 12 months. That response, or lack thereof, should be made public.
“We’re very happy with the outcome,” Briana Fram, sister of one of the dead men, told Northern Life. “We feel that everything was covered and were are very proud with the work that jury did, along with our stand-ins, Vale and the Ministry of Labour.”