Work to Dismantle MV Miner Can Resume
The company dismantling the MV Miner can resume phase one work after addressing the province’s safety concerns. Today, Oct. 29, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education lifted the stop work order issued to Bennington Group on Oct. 11. Under the order, Bennington Group was required to hire an independent engineer to assess the structural integrity of the vessel and the procedures to be followed, to ensure the work was done safely. “We take worker safety extremely seriously, and we were not going to allow any work to begin in or on the MV Miner until we were confident workers would not be jeopardized,” said Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “Over the past couple of weeks, the province has worked very closely with Bennington Group to get their plans where they needed to be to ensure workers will be protected on the job.” The province received the engineer’s assessment from Bennington Group this past weekend, including additional information needed for a remote location plan to identify ways to get injured workers from Scatarie Island to medical aid, if necessary. After close review of plans, the province determined work could resume. “Employers have a responsibility to take sufficient safeguards to keep workers from harm,” said Ms. More. “Although we would have liked to see this work done sooner, we were not willing to put workers at risk to do so.” Work on MV Miner will be done in two phases. Phase one includes gathering all floatable materials, dismantling piping, electrical and cabling in the gallery area and preparing to break up the vessel. Bennington will be required to submit additional engineered plans for phase two before it can begin. Bennington must also comply with all the conditions in the engineering report, the addendum to it, and the remote location plan as work resumes. Bennington Group can proceed to remove MV Miner, following the guidelines of the departments of Environment and Natural Resources and the conditions set by Labour and Advanced Education. The MV Miner was being towed when it broke free of its tug and ran aground on Scatarie Island on Sept. 20, 2011.