The Honourable Kevin Flynn
Minister of Labour
400 University Avenue
Dear Minister Flynn:
In December 2013, the Minister of Labour asked me, as Chief Prevention Officer, to undertake a comprehensive review of the health, safety and prevention issues related to underground mining in the Province of Ontario. The Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review (Review) was launched in January 2014, a progress report and some early deliverables were presented to you in September 2014. I am pleased to provide you with the final report.
The information and recommendations in the report are a result of intensive study into a wide range of issues that impact health and safety in underground mines. The depth and scope of the Review could not have been possible without the support of the Advisory Group, and the cooperation of employer and worker representatives who participated on the working groups.
The Advisory Group demonstrated continued commitment to the Review Process, by providing their guidance and expert opinion. The strength of the final recommendations is due in large part to their work.
Another important part of the Review was the support of six working groups that were established to investigate certain areas. Each of the working groups had worker and employer representation and drew freely from the expertise and knowledge of others within the mining sector. Their work not only provided important insights, but demonstrated the ability of both groups to work collaboratively. I wish to thank the members of the working groups and other participants in this process for their diligent work.
The final report contains my recommendations for improving health and safety in the underground mining sector. It addresses the key issues that were identified as the priorities for the Review. In addition, it highlights areas for improvement that the Advisory Group agreed need to be addressed immediately. These early deliverables are identified in the report.
This report is part of a journey of continuous improvement. Health and safety is not a static issue, it is constantly changing as workplaces and technologies evolve. Beyond the implementation of these recommendations is the need to maintain open communication about emerging health and safety issues and potential solutions.
The publication of this report marks an important milestone along our journey of change and improvement. It will continue to build a solid foundation from which we can seek to constantly transform and improve upon.
Chief Prevention Officer
Associate Deputy Minister
The work of the Review was supported by the very considerable contributions of the members of the Advisory Group, the working groups, subject matter experts and staff in the Ministry of Labour and Workplace Safety North. Most importantly, the work could not have been done without the passionate and informed participation of men and women who work in Ontario’s underground mining sector and their families.
In memory of Joseph Dwayne Plamondon (1961-2015)
As the facilitator of the Internal Responsibility System working group, Dwayne was an important part of the Mining Health Safety and Prevention Review. Extremely generous with his time, he also provided expert advice to all the other working groups, including guiding the development of a new unique risk assessment process that will inform mining health and safety work in Ontario for the future. His hard work, perseverance and knowledge significantly influenced mining review recommendations to prevent mine related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Dwayne’s role in the Review was another important milestone in a career dedicated to improving health and safety since his first days as a miner. His many outstanding contributions to mine safety will have a lasting impact for years to come. To recognize his critical role in the Review, we dedicate this report to Dwayne.