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Mining firm fined for safety lapses that contributed to one death

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A Canadian mining company was fined CA$365,000 ($251,084) for two separate workplace safety incidents, including one that killed a worker.

Lac Des Iles Mines Ltd., part of Thunder Bay, Ontario-based North American Palladium Ltd., was fined after a July 2014 incident in which a miner was killed after being struck and crushed while operating a scoop tram — an underground loader — hauling ore, according to a news release issued on Tuesday by the Ontario Ministry of Labor. The worker's lifeless body was found outside the safe-limit line, which designates a hazard zone to workers, although it is unknown why the miner was outside the line, according to the release.

The employer was found guilty of failing to ensure that written safety precautions and procedures were established and followed to prevent a worker from being outside of a loader while ahead of the safe-line limit and fined CA$300,000 ($206,370), according to the release.

In February 2014, an equipment operator suffered hand and leg injuries when a large amount of material was sent onto an excavator, trapping the worker, according to the ministry.

Lac Des Iles Mines was found guilty of failing to ensure that a stockpile of unconsolidated material was made safe before a worker was allowed to work close to or on top of the stockpile and fined CA$65,000 ($44,714).

The court also imposed a 25% victim fine surcharge, which goes into a provincial government fund to assist victims of crime, on top of the fines.

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.