Ontario workers are safer on the job as a result of a recent enforcement blitz that cracked down on dozens of violations at mines across the province.
In July and August, 2014, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited almost 50 mining workplaces, including underground and surface mines as well as quarries. They checked that the mines had proper procedures in place for the use, handling and storage of explosives.
“Enforcement campaigns such as this are essential to ensuring our workplaces are safe. This sends a message to our mining sector that compliance with our legislation and regulations is non- negotiable and workplace safety will not be compromised," said Kevin Flynn, minister of labour.
Explosives are used to break rock so it can be more easily moved from the mine for processing. The explosives can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.
During the blitz, inspectors issued 169 orders for violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants. Included were four stop orders.
As of January 13, 2015, more than 90 per cent of the orders were complied with. Ontario has about 40 underground mines and hundreds of surface mines and quarries that employ about 25,000 workers. Most of these mines use explosives.
Ontario is also conducting a comprehensive, one-year mining health, safety and prevention review to help identify how we can help ensure an even stronger and safer mining sector.