Ontario is launching a province-wide safety blitz targeting underground and surfaces mines this summer to ensure these facilities have an effective internal responsibility system (IRS) in place.
The IRS promotes a co-operative approach to health and compliance with Ontario's health and safety regulations. It brings together all workplace parties, including employers and supervisors and employees who have key roles and take responsibility for workplace health and safety.
Mining inspectors will focus on the IRS by reviewing the following:
• employers have a safety policy posted in the workplace that is reviewed at least annually and have a program in place to implement that policy?
• workers are aware of the policy and their roles and responsibilities?
• an active joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative exists in the workplace where required.
Six new mining regulations have been enacted into law and ten blitzes focused on the mining sector have been conducted in the past five years. These blitzes have targeted safety gear, ventilation systems and loading pocket system hazards. Protecting mine workers is part of the government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe at Work Ontario strategy.