Electrical Hazards In Mines Targeted
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
Ontario is continuing its efforts to reduce workplace injuries by focusing on hazards involving energized electrical equipment at mining operations.
Throughout the month of September, inspectors will focus on hazards involving live electrical equipment in mines and mining operations. The inspectors will check electrical equipment and practices at underground mines, surface plants and aggregate operations across Ontario. They will check for electrical hazards that could result in injury or death.
Inspectors will take enforcement action as appropriate to any contraventions found under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
This initiative is part of the province's new Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy, announced on July 23, 2008. Keeping more workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario's economy and less strain on the health care system.
- The Ministry of Labour compliance program that ran from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2008 reduced the workplace injury rate by 20 per cent, or more than 50,000 incidents.
- Thirty-four workers in all sectors died while working near exposed electrical equipment since 2000, according to ministry statistics.
- Because of the drop in the annual rate of lost-time injuries, employers have avoided about $5 billion in direct and indirect costs during the four years ending March 31, 2008. Reduced injuries also result in less strain on the health care system, and fewer workers off the job means increased productivity for Ontario's economy.
- Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.
“Many workers don't turn off the power before working on electrical equipment and face possible electrical shock and burns as a result. The Government of Ontario and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries, including those related to electrical installations. Workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound.”