Ontario to Review Mining Health and Safety
Review to Focus on New Technology, Training, Ground Stability
Ontario is launching a comprehensive mining safety review to further improve the health and well-being of workers in the sector.
Starting in early 2014, the province's Chief Prevention Officer will lead an advisory group of industry, labour, and health and safety representatives to begin a collaborative, evidence-based review on a wide range of areas, including:
- Exploring technological advances such as new bolting and reinforcement techniques to prevent collapse and rock bursts.
- Assessing current health and safety regulations, and enforcement mechanisms to compare their effectiveness with regulations in other jurisdictions.
- Examining the education and training of employers, supervisors, and workers on injury prevention to identify skills shortages and gaps in qualified health- and safety-related expertise.
- Ensuring appropriate ground stability and water management practices methods are being used.
- Confirming proper use of barricades and warning systems, particularly with respect to open holes.
Protecting the health and safety of miners and all of the province's workers is part of the Ontario government plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
- The review will also examine the Internal Responsibility System in the mining sector and past mining related coroner's jury reports and inquiries. The Internal Responsibility System provides all workplace parties, including employers and employees, responsibility for improving worker health and safety.
- Ministry inspectors made over 1,500 proactive visits to mining workplaces in 2012-13.
- The province’s mining sector employs 27,000 people, with another 50,000 jobs in processing.
- Ontario is the top destination for mining investment and production in all of Canada with a total value of mineral production reaching $10.7 billion in 2011.
“Improving mine safety and making sure our miners go home to their families at the end of their shift is what this mining review is all about. I know that all of our partners share this goal and recognize that it is time for a thorough, evidence-based review of mining safety across the province that will get meaningful results for miners and their families.”
“Ensuring the safety of Ontario’s 27,000 mine workers is certainly one of my top priorities and one that is shared across our government. Nobody in Ontario should ever go to work and feel unsafe. I applaud the strong effort that our government has made to ensure that one of Ontario’s safest industries remains that way. This review will bring key industry partners and stakeholders with mining expertise together to provide advice on a number of emerging issues that impact mining health and safety.”
“This will be a targeted, well-focused consultation. We have assembled a group of experts committed to occupational health and safety in the mining sector to provide advice to the review.”
“This collaborative safety review follows up on recommendations from the Dean expert panel. Mining is one of the safest industries in the province and it has demonstrated steady and significant improve in its safety performance for decades. This review can help sustain that improvement and move the industry closer to its goal of zero harm while helping to prepare for future growth and innovations.”
“We are counting on this review to produce timely and meaningful action to significantly improve health and safety in our industry.”
“Our committee was established by volunteers with the mission of protecting those working in the mining industry and to prevent further fatalities. This announcement is a huge leap forward towards ensuring the safety of the men and women working in this industry.”