Changes in effect in Ontario to improve mining safety

Employers required to maintain written hazard control measures
|www.cos-mag.com
A driller extracts a drill core at an exploration site located north west of Kirkland Lake, Ont. REUTERS/Euan Rocha

Ontario is reminding employers in the province's mining industry that as of Jan. 1, new requirements are in place to improve the health and safety of workers in mines.

These requirements include assessing and managing the risks of hazards and potential hazards that may arise in the mining industry, and developing and maintaining written measures to control the risks of those hazards in the workplace.

“Ontario’s mining sector has a strong culture of health, safety and collaboration, which continues to deliver positive results in the workplace for mining workers,” said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn. “Last year, there were no fatalities in Ontario’s mines, however, critical injuries still occur in the industry.”

Employers are also required to develop and maintain a written water management program that includes measures and procedures to prevent any accumulation or unwanted flow of water that may endanger workers in underground mines.

They also need a written traffic management program that includes measures and procedures to address workplace hazards related to reduced or impeded visibility of drivers.

Under the new legislation, mining companies need to record seismic events that are likely to cause significant rock mass damage, compromise the effectiveness of the ground support system, or occur in or near an active mining area.

Ontario’s mining industry has a production value of more than $10 billion and directly employs more than 26,000 people.

“The safety of the people who operate Ontario’s network of more than 40 operational mines is crucial to the ongoing success of the sector,” said Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle. “These new requirements will help our government build on our strong safety record in the mining sector.”

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