Safety News (January 01, 2007)
Milestones at Copper Cliff North mine
by Bill Danyluk
Earlier in December 2006, CVRD-Inco’s Copper Cliff North mine near Sudbury, Ont., surpassed several noteworthy injury-free-related milestones. The underground mine has worked over two years and 1 million man-hours without a disabling injury or a lost time injury. Employing over 250 full-time employees, CCNM has produced close to 3 million tons of ore and driven over five miles of drift during this two-year period. The medical aid frequency rate in 2006 (6.8) was also reduced by 36% compared with the previous year (10.5).
Making significant strides in injury reduction has come from a balanced and disciplined approach to the work. This has been supported by comprehensive safety systems led by dedicated senior company and union management and a vibrant plant Occupational Safety, Health & Environment committee.
The mine completed a comprehensive asset integrity assessment several years ago, which identified significant health & safety, or operational risks, and has been actively reducing these risks by replacing or upgrading aging infrastructure. This work has made our house a safer and more reliable place to work.
In 2005, we conducted plant-wide workshops on hazard identification and risk assessment in the workplace. Our employees were trained to identify risks and to take measures to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably achievable every shift. Using these techniques has enhanced our approach to completing all tasks safely. Finally, we have implemented an improved methodology to plan and schedule our work. By being generally better organized, we have more time and resources available to allow work to be executed in a safe and more predictable manner.
CCNM is very proud of this achievement, but our work is never done. Our safety plans for next year include improving the planning for non-routine tasks and enhancing the reporting of potential risks so we can develop mitigation measures before an injury or incident. We are also implementing measures to achieve excellence in roadway maintenance and housekeeping.
The risk of serious injury in the mining world is an everyday reality. As miners, we accept the challenge and work very hard to ensure we all go home safely every shift. We put this much effort into our safety approach because we are worth it.
Bill Danyluk is mine superintendent at Copper Cliff North mine in Sudbury and can be contacted at (705) 682-5334 or [email protected].