The general manager of the Agrium Vanscoy mine is reacting after a worker was seriously injured on the job. The incident comes just a few weeks after a miner died of injuries sustained at the mine.
“It’s an absolute low of my entire career,” Todd Steen said on Wednesday.
The second injury came just as the mine was gearing towards full operations after being shut down in the wake of Chad Wiklun’s death. While details of the incident are still unclear, Steen said it occurred underground on Sunday morning.
Steen said they need to look into safety issues at the project.
“We’d be lying to ourselves if we had two incidents like this and tried to say we didn’t have a problem,” he said. “There’s obviously some things we need to do better and that has to be done with tremendous urgency.”
“We can’t be complacent. We have to do better,” he added.
Occupational Health and Safety is currently investigating both incidents. The oversight body said before these incidents, there were no discernable issues with safety at Agrium Vanscoy compared to other mines across Saskatchewan.
Wiklun was pinned between two pieces of equipment in the mine on August 8. He died a few days later from his injuries. The worker injured on Sunday is expected to recover.
Steen said the incidents have shaken the workforce.
“It devastates everybody, it affects the whole place,” he said. “I would say people are sad.”
The mine was idled for two days after the worker got hurt. Operations resumed Tuesday evening.
Steen said since then, staff don’t seem hesitant as they go about their jobs.
“I don’t think that our people fear coming to work,” he said. “I think they understand we expect them to bring forward their safety concerns, and that we’ll listen at all times.”
-With files from Brent Bosker