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Dust Explosion at Refinery Costs Mining Company $150,000

A sulphur dust explosion and fire at a refinery injured five contract workers from an employment agency. The workers were wearing PPE, including half-masks, glasses, safety boots, leather gloves and ear plugs. Their injuries included second-degree burns, bruising and muscle soreness. The MOL’s investigation determined that the lack of adequate sulphur dust control and failure to eliminate all potential sources of ignition created a risk of explosion and fire. In addition, an adequate supply of a suitable inerting agent wasn’t available or used at all times for blanketing and purging of all equipment. The mining company pleaded guilty to a safety violation and was fined $150,000 [Vale Canada Ltd., Govt. News Release, June 13, 2014].