Two Workers Injured in Separate Conveyor Incidents

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Mill workers were injured in two separate incidents involving moving conveyor belts. In one incident, a worker was performing maintenance on a feed conveyor, which moves coarse ore from outside to a bin inside the mill. The cold weather caused the conveyor belt to lose contact with the head pulley, resulting in the belt slipping. To fix the problem, workers used a propane-fed torch to heat the pulley while the conveyor was in operation. The worker was setting up to use the torch when he tripped and fell backwards onto the conveyor; his clothing was pulled into the rotating head pulley. He suffered multiple injuries and required surgery. Just three weeks later, a worker was adjusting and unplugging a conveyor system water spray bar while the conveyor was in operation. He was pulled into a rotating pinch point, suffering extensive injuries and also requiring surgery. The MOL found the conveyors didn’t have proper guards to prevent contact with accessible pinch points. The company pleaded guilty to violating the Mines and Mining Plants Regulation and was fined a total of $75,000 [Mohawk Garnet Inc., Govt. News Release, Aug. 19, 2016].