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Appendix B - Working Groups

  • Issued: September 10, 2014
  • Content last reviewed: September 2014
  • See also: Final Report

Representatives of the Advisory Group recommended individuals representing both labour and employers to be part of six Working Groups created to explore the following topics:

Working Group 1

The ability of the occupational health and safety system to meet the needs of the mining sector.

Facilitator: Bob Barclay – Provincial Coordinator, MHSP, MOL

Group Members:

  • Fred St. Jean – Manager Safety, Occupational Health and Medicine, Vale, Sudbury (OMA)
  • Alfred Mills – USW Local 9422 (Labour Representative)

Working Group 2

New technology and the application of the change management and risk assessment processes to evaluate its associated health and safety implications.

Facilitator: Vic Pakalnis – President and CEO, MIRARCO

Group Members:

  • Robert Bianchin – Safety Specialist, Glencore, Sudbury (OMA)
  • Craig Allair – USW Local 6500 (Labour Representative)

Working Group 3

The Internal Responsibility System.

Facilitator: Dwayne Plamondon – Director - Mining, WSN

Group Members:

  • Shannon Campbell – Manager, Mine Operations, Glencore, Timmins (OMA)
  • Nancy Hutchison – Secretary-Treasurer, Ontario Federation of Labour (Labour Representative)

Working Group 4

Training, skills and labour supply issues

Facilitator: Robert Merwin – Executive Advisor - Assistant Deputy Minister - Mines and Minerals, MNDM

Group Members:

  • John LeClair, Goldcorp, Toronto – (OMA)
  • James Niemi – LU 6500 H&S Representative (Labour Representative)

Working Group 5

Health and safety hazards

Facilitator: Bob Barclay – Provincial Coordinator, MHSP, MOL

Group Members:

  • Frank Demers, Vale, Sudbury – (OMA)
  • Eric Lachance – USW Local 2020 (Labour Representative)

Working Group 6

Emergency preparedness

Facilitator: Alex Gryska – General Manager, Mine Rescue, WSN

Group Members:

  • Jamie Mortson, LSG, Timmins – (OMA)
  • Dave Stewart – Mine Mill Local 598 H&S Coordinator (Labour Representative)

All the Working Groups are reviewing recommendations from past inquiries and Coroner’s jury inquests related to their topic areas as well as relevant submissions from the public consultations. Topics being explored by one Working Group may overlap and/or impact the work of other groups so the facilitators meet regularly to share information and maximize each group’s work. In addition to making specific recommendations, the Working Groups will identify issues that require further study.

1. Capacity of the Health and Safety System Working Group

Purpose: To explore capacity issues in Ontario’s health and safety system by:

  • understanding the potential growth of the sector and predicting the types of mining, processing and technology that will characterize the sector in the future
  • exploring the current state of the Ministry of Labour’s mining program’s enforcement and compliance assistance practices
  • understanding the current capability of the Ministry of Labour in terms of operational and technical strength
  • understanding Workplace Safety North’s compliance assistance practices for the mining sector
  • estimating the extent to which the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety System is capable of addressing the mining sector’s current and future health and safety hazards and issues
  • devising strategies to correct any identified deficiencies in the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety System that would prevent it from effectively contending with the mining sector’s current and future health and safety hazards and issues

Deliverables: The Working Group’s key deliverables include:

  • a summary of the group’s investigation findings on the future state of the Ontario Mining Sector including: expected growth, types of mining processing and technology, the mining sector’s current and future health and safety hazards and issues, and the ability of the Ontario occupational health and safety system to effectively deal with these hazards and issues
  • strategies to address any identified deficiencies that would prevent the system from effectively addressing the mining sector’s occupational health and safety needs

Completed Work: To date, the working group has completed the following tasks:

  • identified new mineral deposits that are expected to be developed over the next five years
  • characterized these deposits in terms of their depth and geometry
  • reviewed the findings of the Management of Change Working Group to identify the types of new technology that are likely to emerge in the Ontario Mining Sector over the next five years
  • identified the existing operating mines that are expected to close over the next five years
  • identified potential ways to improve Coroner’s Inquests on mining sector facilities

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • completing 11 tasks that are in progress
  • exploring relevant input from the consultations

2. Technology and Management of Change Working Group

Purpose: To define the optimal processes to introduce new technology and processes into the Ontario Mining Sector by:

For the Health and Safety Implications of Technology

  • reviewing potential hazards/benefits of introducing of new technology/processes, including analyzing some new technologies currently being introduced to Ontario and where possible, some that could be introduced over the next few years
  • seeking stakeholder views on technology and risk assessment

Management of Change

  • conducting research and soliciting advice from experts on best practices in change management processes that could be applied to understand the health and safety implications of new technology and processes
  • recommending strategies to establish new technology change management process standards for Ontario’s mining sector

Risk Assessment

  • conducting research and soliciting advice from experts on optimal risk assessment models
  • considering options to ensure standardized risk assessments in the mining sector

Deliverable: The Working Group’s key deliverable will be a report that explores the optimal processes for introducing new technology and processes into Ontario’s mining sector

Completed Work: The Working Group has completed the following tasks:

  • identified three goals: 1. Health and safety implications of technology, 2. Change management best practices and 3. Best practices in risk assessment models
  • gathered information on regulatory approaches in Canada, Australia and USA
  • reviewed previous mining inquiry recommendations, Coroner’s Jury Recommendations and public submissions to the Review
  • reviewed information provided by the Ontario Mining Association on best practices in change management in Ontario (this task is on-going)
  • held joint meeting with Capacity Working group and Professor Jim Joy (Australia), a global expert in safety and risk management
  • established criteria for evaluating change management policy and implementation

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • evaluate change management practices of Ontario mining companies against criteria to establish findings and recommendations
  • meet with international experts on three goals by teleconference/Skype
  • explore relevant input from the consultations

3. Internal Responsibility System Working Group

Purpose: to examine the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) in the Ontario Mining Sector by:

  • conducting research and soliciting advice from experts on best practices in IRS processes that could be applied to enhance IRS in the mining sector
  • seeking stakeholder views on the functioning of the IRS as part of the analysis
  • recommending strategies for improving the IRS in the Ontario mining sector

Deliverable: The Working Group’s key deliverable is a report that recommends strategies to improve the IRS in Ontario’s mining sector.

Completed Work: The Working Group has completed the following tasks:

  • reviewed all IRS recommendations from past mining reviews and commissions
  • completed a report of Phases 1-3 of the IRS Survey facilitated by the Workplace Safety North with Ontario’s mining industry
  • developed a list of experts and arranged for them to present to the Working Group
  • reviewed recommendations of mining-related Coroner’s reports on the IRS

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • work to develop a consensus around what the IRS is and the best method to ensure it is functioning in the workplace including a consensus understanding of the roles of workplace parties
  • identify research and approaches related to safe, profitable production and the characteristics of world class health and safety management systems
  • investigate legislation from other jurisdictions related to the IRS (the scan of OHS legislation is now underway) and contact the OHS Subcommittee of Canadian Association of Administrators of Labour Legislation
  • review approaches and strategies in other jurisdictions that result in successful working relationships
  • review findings on the IRS from the public consultations
  • collect data from safety system partners on the IRS
  • identify the extent to which the Ministry of Labour can respond to IRS-related issues
  • identify the extent to which the mining industry can respond to IRS-related issues
  • identify the extent to which labour can respond to IRS-related issues
  • develop a tool to analyze approaches and tools for strengthening the IRS
  • use the tool to analyze approaches to the IRS
  • identify opportunities to strengthen the IRS in Ontario mines
  • identify any gaps the Working Group would like to see investigated further
  • prepare final report

4. Training, Skills and Labour Supply Issues Working Group

Purpose: To examine the training, skills and labour supply issues in Ontario’s mining sector by:

  • reviewing research and soliciting advice from experts to identify challenges and solutions related to training, skills and labour supply issues
  • including stakeholder views in the analysis
  • recommending strategies to address training, skills and labour supply challenges

Deliverable: The Working Group’s key deliverable is a report that sets out the best practices and challenges related to training, skills and labour supply issues, including recommending strategies to address these challenges.

Completed Work: The Working Group has completed the following tasks:

  • reviewed legislative framework with regard to training
  • reviewed training providers’ framework
  • reviewed public consultation sessions input
  • reviewed relevant recommendations from Coroner jury reports and commissions/inquiries
  • assessed the potential for future growth in Ontario’s mining sector

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • reviewing relevant legislation and health and safety training initiatives in other Canadian mining jurisdictions as well as international best practices
  • developing a more detailed analysis of the impact of new mine development and expansion on labour supply issues and their implications for health and safety (consistent with the research undertaken by the Capacity Working Group)
  • exploring other areas including:
    • legislative framework
    • Common Core modular training program and specialty modules
    • hazard awareness
    • supervisor training
    • health and safety/training “culture”
    • mining as a trade

5. Hazards Working Group

Purpose: To identify the key health and safety hazards in Ontario’s mining sector by:

  • preparing a complete and up-to-date description of health and safety hazards associated with the sector
  • establishing the level of risk associated with each hazard and developing strategies to eliminate or reduce the risk of priority hazards
  • determine the extent to which the Ontario Health and Safety System has been able to provide support or has required workplace parties to mitigate the risk associated with each hazard on the list

Deliverable: The Working Group’s key deliverable is a report that identifies the key health and safety hazards in Ontario’s mining sector and makes recommendations to minimize their impact. Early deliverables include:

  • a risk analysis process that produced a “heat map”, which identifies priority health and safety risks in the mining sector. The heat map will allow workplace parties and the health and safety system to target their prevention efforts to the greatest risks.
  • input into the creation of a mining sector hazard list for Part Two JHSC certification training

Completed Work: The Working Group has completed the following tasks:

  • Prepared for and executed a risk assessment session involving representatives from labour and management to risk rank all known sector health and safety hazards.

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • interpreting and analyzing the findings from the risk assessment session
  • establishing a small expert group for each high-ranking health and safety hazard. Each group will carefully examine its assigned hazard to develop recommended strategies for the mining sector aimed at eliminating the level of harm where possible, and where not possible, aimed at reducing the level of harm to the lowest level possible.
  • exploring relevant input from the consultations

6. Emergency Preparedness / Mine Rescue Working Group

Purpose: To assess the ability of the current emergency preparedness and response system in light of changing mining processes by:

  • conducting research and soliciting expert advice to identify best practices for emergency management processes and optimal models for emergency preparedness
  • considering stakeholder views on the present state of emergency preparedness and the issues associated with future mining processes
  • recommending strategies to ensure that Ontario’s mining emergency preparedness and the Mine Rescue program continue to be world leaders

Deliverable: The Working Group’s key deliverable is a report that will include:

  • a summary of options for emergency preparedness, management and response techniques and processes that take into account the hazards posed by new mining processes, demographics and labour challenges
  • a summary of emergency preparedness/mine rescue models to address any issues with the current model
  • strategies to ensure continuous evaluation of the emergency preparedness system's capacity to meet future needs
  • a review of current regulatory requirements related to emergency preparedness and response with recommendations to strengthen them

Completed Work: The Working Group has completed the following tasks:

  • explored the permitting of new mines and the process of informing new operators of their legal responsibilities for emergency preparedness
  • reviewed current regulations related to formal risk assessments and emergency preparedness/response capability
  • reviewed mine rescue legislation in other jurisdictions including requirements related to above ground mining
  • reviewed the role of the Mine Rescue Technical Advisory Committee and the International Mines Rescue Body
  • reviewed mine rescue team training and competition participation
  • reviewed the current refresher training requirements
  • reviewed issues regarding the effect of cold or hot temperatures on rescues
  • reviewed the role of technology in mine rescue
  • reviewed the ability of the system to respond to issues

Next Steps: Next steps include:

  • consolidating information from completed research and reviews
  • exploring relevant input from the public consultations
  • drafting potential recommendations

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