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Appendix C – Ontario Health and Safety System Partners and Affiliates

  • Issued: April 15, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: April 2015
  • See also: Final Report

Ontario Ministry of Labour

The ministry's occupational health and safety mandate is to set, communicate and enforce occupational health and safety legislation (the Occupational Health and Safety Act), and regulations. It also develops, coordinates and implements strategies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses and can set standards for health and safety training. To report incidents, critical injuries or fatalities – or to ask about workplace health and safety – call the Ministry of Labour toll-free at 1-877-202-0008. Follow the ministry on Twitter.

Workplace Safety North (WSN)

WSN comprises the former Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association, Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association, Ontario Mine Rescue, and Pulp and Paper Health and Safety Association.

  • Serves (province wide): forestry, mining, smelters, refineries, paper, printing and converting.
  • Toll-free (Ontario): 1-888-730-7821
  • Web Site
  • On Twitter @WSN_News

Workplace Safety North (WSN) provides a number of services to benefit health and safety in the mining sector across Ontario. In 2014 WSN’s Prevention Services Mining Group provided over 73,000 hours of training on topics like ground control, mine ventilation and mining-specific Join Health and Safety Committee courses.

Training provided by WSN’s Prevention Services Mining Group and the Mine Rescue Program in 2014 (Jan. 1, 2014 – Dec. 31, 2014):

  • Total Participants: 7,565
  • Total Participant Hours: 73,028

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

OHCOW provides comprehensive occupational health services – to workers concerned about work-related health conditions and to workers, unions and employers who need support to prevent these health conditions from developing. OHCOW services are free of charge.

Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC)

As Ontario’s designated health and safety training centre, the WHSC provides training for workers, their representatives and employers from every sector and region of the province.

Institute for Work & Health (IWH)

IWH is an independent, not-for-profit research organization that aims to protect and improve the health of working people by providing useful, relevant research to workers, employers, occupational health and safety professionals, disability management professionals, clinicians, policy-makers and more.

Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA)

The Office of the Worker Adviser was established in 1985 as an independent agency of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The OWA provides free and confidential services (advice, education, and representation) in workplace insurance matters (formerly called workers’ compensation) and on occupational health and safety reprisal issues. The OWA provides workplace insurance services to non-unionized injured workers and their survivors. Occupational health and safety reprisal services are provided to non-unionized workers. The OWA represents workers at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Tribunal (WSIAT) and the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). Alternative dispute resolution is used to resolve cases when possible. The OWA also provides self-help information for workers to handle their own claims or applications where appropriate.

Mining Legislative Review Committee (MLRC)

The Mining Legislative Review Committee is established under section 11 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario, to provide the Minister of Labour with advice and counsel in respect to legislation and regulations relating to occupational health and safety in mines.

The Committee is composed of nine members: a chairman, four members recommended by the Ontario Mining Association and the Aggregate Producers Association and four members recommended by the Ontario Federation of Labour. These members are appointed by the Minister. The aforementioned organizations also recommend alternate members, who are appointed by the Minister.

Technical Advisory Committees (TAC)

Workplace Safety North has five mining technical advisory committees - mining equipment, ground control, mine rescue, safety and loss, and workplace environment. They are volunteer committees that work to provide sector-specific expertise to WSN. The committees help WSN achieve its mission, which is to enable its members’ workplaces to be the healthiest and safest in the world. These volunteer committees are advisory only and have no administrative authority. Volunteers on these committees are individuals who have demonstrated leadership in health and safety at an operational level and who are committed to improving the health and safety of workers.

Mining Tripartite Committee (MTC)

The Mining Tripartite Committee provides expertise and recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities with respect to the establishment and operation of training programs for specific mining occupations or groups of mining occupations in order to respond to industry needs, technological advances and high health and safety standards. MTC creates and maintains a mining modular system with the highest possible quality of skills training and promotes this system within Ontario.

The Mining Tripartite Committee is comprised of industry representatives – an equal number of labour and management representatives; and government representatives from the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities and the Ministry of Labour. The Ontario Mining Association is represented by an observer at the committee.

Ontario Mine Rescue

Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR), a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN), is established under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario. Ontario Mine Rescue staffs, equips and maintains a network of mine rescue stations across the province that ensure mines within a specified geographic area have adequate emergency response capability.

OMR’s role includes delivering training to first responders, providing consultations, conducting periodic audits, ensuring WSN-owned equipment is maintained to manufacturers' recommended standards, and providing advice during mine emergencies.

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