Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.
The Ministry of Labour is increasing enforcement of regulations and promoting awareness of essential safety measures to improve the safety of workers on surface diamond drilling sites.
Since January 2009, the workforce engaged in diamond drilling has increased by 64 per cent. Good training and supervision are essential, particularly when work shifts are long, and many workers are young and/or new to the job.
Ministry of Labour inspectors may take enforcement action if they find violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. They pay particular attention to:
Entanglement with moving or rotating equipment can cause serious injury and death. Guards must protect workers from rotating equipment. Refer to the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants [Reg. 854, s. 185]. Interlocks that prevent inadvertent contact to rotating equipment are desirable additions to the guards. Emergency stop switches are important to be able to quickly stop equipment motion in case of an incident.
Chances of survival are greatest if injured workers receive prompt medical care; however, immediate medical attention may not be possible in remote work locations. Nevertheless, good medical emergency plans and suitable rescue equipment can reduce the time needed to treat the injured worker. A designated contact location near the drill site can facilitate contact with Emergency Medical Services.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out certain specific duties for workplace supervisors. A supervisor must:
Employers must conform to the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants [Reg. 854, s. 11.1(1)]. Employers are required to establish and maintain Surface Common Core Programs for Diamond Drillers for both Runners and Helpers (Program #P770200).
Employers must be able to show proof of a worker’s successful completion of appropriate training [Reg. 854, s. 11.1(4)]. A Certificate of Achievement showing that a worker has successfully completed a training program referred to in subsection (1), issued by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, constitutes conclusive proof for the purposes of this section of the worker’s successful completion of the training program.
The employer must have training materials readily available for review by a Ministry of Labour inspector, preferably on site. If the employer fails to do so, the inspector may take appropriate enforcement action.
Call 1-877-202-0008 anytime to report workplace health and safety incidents or for general inquiries about health and safety at the workplace.