Timmins mine wins top Ontario safety award

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lake Shore Gold Corporation wins President’s Award from Workplace Safety North

On September 17, 2014, in North Bay, Ontario, Workplace Safety North (WSN) – the provincial occupational health and safety expert for Ontario’s forestry, mining, and paper, printing, and converting sectors – presented Lake Shore Gold Corporation with a President’s Award.

“We’re pleased to recognize Lake Shore Gold for its exceptional commitment to continuous improvement in occupational health and safety in the mining sector,” said Candys Ballanger-Michaud, WSN President and Chief Executive Officer. “I’m honoured to recognize your dedication to workers’ well-being, and to creating and maintaining healthy and safe workplaces – congratulations!”

WSN President's Award winner Lake Shore Gold group photoPhoto: Workplace Safety North representatives and Ontario mining sector safety award winners Lake Shore Gold Corp., left to right: Bill Shaver, Sam Barbuto, Chris MacInnes, Jim Martin, Duncan King, Evan Pelletier, Jamie Mortson, and Candys Ballanger-Michaud.

“People at Lake Shore Gold are thrilled not only with the win,” says Jamie Mortson, manager of health and safety, “but also with the fact that our programs are on par with other mining operations in the province noted for ‘best practices.’ We’re a relatively young company that transitioned very quickly from an exploration company in 2007 to a mid-tier producing mining company, so this award is especially significant when you consider the building of a mining operation and operating system, including the safety program, has been achieved in a relatively short period of time.”

With 473 full-time employees and approximately 200 contractors, Lake Shore Gold operates two sites in the Timmins region. The Timmins West mine site, located near the junction of Highway 101 and 144, consists of an operating shaft that serves the Thunder Creek Mine as well as Timmins Mine; and the Bell Creek complex, located in nearby Porcupine, includes both an underground mine serviced by a ramp, and a mill facility where all the ore is processed. 

“We encourage other companies to participate in this program,” says Mortson. “The self-assessment is very helpful in determining the progress of our safety program and in identifying opportunities for improvement. 

“Winning the President’s Award comes with a great deal of pride and satisfaction on the part of everyone at Lake Shore Gold – it’s a great way to recognize all workers. It also comes with the realization that we have been able to build a reputable program, but there is so much more to do. When it comes safety, you can never get complacent and you can always learn from others. This award is something we can share with our employees and build momentum with our program.”

About WSN Workplace Excellence Awards
The purpose of the program is twofold: first, companies can complete an easy-to-follow assessment of their current health and safety programs. Once completed, businesses can clearly see areas for improvement and develop an action plan to improve safety performance; second, the program provides recognition to firms actively engaged in improving their health and safety performance. 

Companies that score 80 per cent or more on the self-assessment submit the completed assessment to WSN in order to receive a plaque that can be displayed in the workplace. WSN reviews the self-assessment and scores may be validated by an on-site visit from a WSN Field Consultant. All submitted assessments are automatically considered for the President’s Award. Scoring is based on the results of the self-assessment in combination with statistical performance of the past two calendar years. 

Top scoring firms in forestry, mining, paper, printing, and converting, and small business are presented with the President’s Award at the WSN annual general meeting each September.

For mining companies that would like to be recognized with a plaque at this year’s Mining Health and Safety conference, the deadline for submission is March 15.

Download the Health and Safety Self-Assessment for WSN Workplace Excellence Awards
Accompanying Information Guide includes Frequently Asked Questions
WSN Workplace Excellence Awards Program website page