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Ontario Issued Nearly 200 Safety Orders to Prevent Mining Injuries

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Ontario Issued Nearly 200 Safety Orders to Prevent Mining Injuries

Province Ensuring Mine Workers are Safe on the Job

Ontario inspectors issued almost 200 safety orders during an enforcement blitz to raise awareness and increase compliance with health and safety laws at underground and surface mines.

From October 1 to November 30, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 67 mining workplaces across the province. Some of the mines were visited several times.
The inspectors issued 192 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. This included:

  • 16 orders to stop work on equipment in response to health and safety issues
  • 23 orders for not following required program guidelines and provincial modular training standard
  • 153 orders for hazards involving equipment, protective barriers (e.g., fencing), safety precautions and ground conditions
All of the orders issued during the blitz have been addressed by the employers.

Protecting workers is part of the government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative.

Quick Facts

  • All workers have the right to refuse unsafe work under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Workers can report unsafe work to the Ministry of Labour any time by calling the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008. In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.
  • Ontario has about 40 underground mines and thousands of surface mines, with about 26,000 workers.
  • In 2015, four workers died and 28 workers were critically injured in incidents at mining workplaces.
  • The Ministry of Labour has completed six other mining blitzes since January 2014: occupational disease, motor vehicles and mobile equipment, water management, ground stability, explosives in mines, and hoisting plants.
  • Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 620,000 field visits, and 79 inspection blitzes.
  • Inspectors have issued more than 1 million compliance orders across all sectors in Ontario since June 2008.
  • Ontario recently conducted a Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review. The Final Report contained training-related recommendations.These recommendations are being actively worked on and include reviewing the quality and consistency of modular training.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Workers can be injured or killed if improperly trained for the work they perform. Enforcement blitzes such as this help keep mine workers safe on the job. They send a clear message that non-compliance will not be tolerated. We’re also working towards implementation of recommendations arising from a comprehensive review of underground mining safety to better protect workers.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

“Mine workers must be equipped with the necessary training and education of possible hazards to be safe on the job. We continue to take steps to improve mine workers’ health and safety, but it is about ongoing vigilance, every single day, every single shift, to ensure workplaces are free of injury and illness.”

George Gritziotis

Chief Prevention Officer

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