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BACKGROUNDER

Preventing Mining Pits and Quarries Injuries


  • Issued: July 5, 2012
  • Content last reviewed: July 2012
  • See also: News Release

Mining inspectors will blitz surface mines across Ontario in July.

The increased enforcement is part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario strategy, launched in June 2008.

The inspectors will focus on hazards involving haulage of materials found in surface mining operations and the equipment used in the movement and transportation of that material.

These hazards can endanger the health and safety of workers.

Aggregate material – made up of stone, sand and gravel – is mined at thousands of pits and quarries in Ontario. This material is used to build roads and in nearly all residential, commercial and industrial construction.

Since 2000, 10 workers have died in pits and quarries in Ontario. Two of them were involved in incidents related to rock crushing, screening and conveying processes. During the same period, 61 workers were seriously injured in pits and quarries. Four workers were involved in incidents related to rock crushing, screening and conveying processes.

Hauling hazards can include:

  • Improper mounting and dismounting of vehicles
  • Collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and rollovers
  • Improper traffic controls
  • Improperly maintained haulage vehicles
  • Lack of proper loading and dumping procedures
  • Improperly maintained haulage roads
  • Overloaded haulage vehicles and improperly secured loads
  • Contact with power lines
  • Working from heights
  • Excessively steep or narrow haulage roads
  • Lack of dust control

Blitz Focus

Ministry of Labour inspectors will target pits and quarries:

  • Inspectors have not visited before
  • Where concerns have been noted and
  • Where there is a poor compliance history

Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, for any contraventions found under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

The blitz will be held to:

  • Raise awareness of health and safety hazards
  • Ensure workplace parties are complying with the law and
  • Prevent injuries and illnesses that could arise from unsafe work practices.

Priorities

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

  • Traffic Control: Inspectors will check for the presence, adequacy and use of procedures to protect workers from haulage and other vehicles at pits and quarries. Training and signage must conform to Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants requirements.
  • Braking Systems: Inspectors will check if vehicle brakes are in good condition, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
  • Vehicle Equipment: Inspectors will also check if steering, lights and other safety components are tested and recorded prior to initial use of vehicles for each shift, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
  • Vehicle Access: Inspectors will check if vehicle ladders and steps are in good condition, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.

Greg Dennis, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7710
Matt Blajer, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

ontario.ca/labour-news
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