The United Steelworkers believe incidents at the Elkview Mine east of Sparwood are increasing in severity and magnitude.
This following what they call “a dryer explosion” at the Teck Resources facility last week.
Local 9346 President Alex Hanson says three similar incidents were reported in 2017 and he’s concerned workers may die if more explosions happen.
“Mining is inherently risky and its all about risk mitigation, so its up to workers to mitigate those risks themselves,” Hanson says. “On the work site, if you see things that are not safe, you need to stop what you are doing.”
He feels last week’s event was the largest so far and people are being put in harm’s way.
“There were workers nearby so we’re looking at this as the possibility of a fatality,” Hanson says. “What do we do next? We do not want to have people getting killed at work and this looks like we are leading in that direction.”
No injuries were reported and Teck claims there were no adverse health or environmental effects.
Teck says they are continuing to determine the extent of the damage and potential effects on production.
Hanson says people have the right to refuse what they consider unsafe work.
– USW 9346 President Alex Hanson