Fatality Results in $200,000 Fine for Val Caron-based Mining Company

Convicted: Consbec Inc., 2736 Belisle Drive, Val Caron, Ontario P3N 1B3, a company that provides mining contracting services.

Location of Workplace: River Valley Quarry, River Valley, Ontario.

Description of Offence: A worker was fatally injured while performing drilling work at a quarry in River Valley.

Date of Offence: August 19, 2019.

Date of Conviction: September 20, 2021.

Penalty Imposed:

  • Following a guilty plea in the Superior Court of Justice, North Bay, Consbec, Inc. was fined $200,000 by Judge Lawrence Kline; Crown Counsel David McCaskill.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


  • On August 19, 2019, a worker employed by Consbec, Inc., was drilling in preparation for a blast at the River Valley Quarry, Pit Number 1.
  • The worker was riding upon a self-contained hydraulic track drill equipped with steel tracks for movement.
  • The area of the quarry in which it was operating had a number of sloped surfaces of varying degrees of gradient.
  • The worker was in the process of driving the rock drill forward towards the next hole to be drilled in the quarry when the drilling unit began to slide down the outcrop rock face.
  • While attempting to jump clear, the machine tipped over injuring the worker.
  • The worker was promptly air lifted to an emergency medial centre but later succumbed to their injuries.
  • A Ministry investigation revealed two main factors leading to the incident; the drill rig was equipped with steel tracks that did not provide sufficient traction on the sheer rock surface to prevent sliding of the machine on a slope, and, the drill rig was not equipped with any gauge or monitoring guide to inform the operator of the degree of slope the machine was operating on.
  • The absence of the gauge or monitoring guide left the worker unable to ensure the machine was not operating on a dangerous gradient which could cause it to slide uncontrollably.
  • As a result, it was found the employer failed to provide the worker with the proper information to protect the safety of the worker, contrary to s. 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.