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Ontario Taking Action To Protect Drill Rig Operators

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Ontario Taking Action To Protect Drill Rig Operators

New Training and Safety Requirements To Improve Workplace Safety

Ontario has passed amendments under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to strengthen the health and safety of workers on construction projects, including new requirements for operating rotary foundation drill rigs. 

Rotary foundation drill rigs are used for boring holes in soil in order to install foundations or earth retention structures. While the amendments have been passed in regulation, the new drill rig requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act will come into effect on July 1, 2016 allowing time for industry to comply with the new requirements for:

  • Technical and operational safety measures and procedures
  • Mandatory drill rig operator training and certification

With the new requirements, Ontario is now a Canadian leader on drill rig operator training. No other jurisdiction in Canada has explicit training requirements for drill rig operators in their health and safety legislation. These changes will build on actions that the province is already taking to improve safety for construction workers including the Working at Heights Training requirements and the development of Ontario's Construction Health and Safety Action Plan.

Improving health and safety in the construction industry is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has also approved amendments to protect workers from overexposure to hazardous chemical and biological substances including carbon monoxide released by internal combustion engines.
  • Ontario’s construction industry has traditionally experienced higher rates of workplace injuries and fatalities compared to other workplace sectors.
  • There were 200 critical injuries in construction last year and 21 fatalities.

Additional Resources


“To break the cycle of fatalities in our construction sector, we need higher health and safety standards. Ontario is taking the lead on this by strengthening training requirements for drill rig operators to improve workplace safety on construction projects.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

“The number of fatalities in our construction industry is still far too high. I am pleased that these new changes enhance training for drill rig operators.”

George Gritziotis

Chief Prevention Officer

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