Jury on inquiry into Sudbury miner’s 2015 death adopts Unifor safety recommendations

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TORONTO –A jury adopted several of Unifor’s safety and process recommendations to help prevent future death and injury to miners following an inquiry into the October 15, 2015 workplace death of Sudbury miner Richard Pigeau. 

“The jury’s safety, support and training recommendations must be implemented immediately as they are necessary to protect workers in the mining sector,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “One worker’s death is one too many. These practical changes can save lives and prevent injury.”

Pigeau had been driving a load haul dump truck, weighing 84,000 pounds without a load, and was somehow ejected from the enclosed cab and then crushed by the rear wheels of the moving vehicle. 

The inquiry began August 29, 2022 and concluded September 2, 2022. The recommendations call upon employers, mining vehicle and equipment manufacturers and government to take enhanced steps to ensure worker safety. They include mandatory seat belts for mobile mining equipment and alarm systems when the door is ajar or the seatbelt is unbuckled.

“Many safety systems we are used to seeing in civilian vehicles are not standard in heavy equipment and it’s time that changed,” said Vinay Sharma, Unifor Director of Health and Safety. “We are pleased the inquiry adopted several of our union’s recommendations to better protect workers and to help families navigate the resources available to them.”

To read Unifor’s submission and full text of the jury’s decision, please visit our website.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries, contact: Unifor National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at @email or 902-717-7491.