The Honourable Kevin Flynn
Minister of Labour
400 University Avenue
Dear Minister Flynn:
In December 2013, your predecessor 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, and I will be submitting my final report to you in early 2015. At the beginning of this Review, I made a commitment to provide the Minister with a progress report. I am pleased to submit my progress report and some early deliverables.
Consultation has been, and continues to be critical to the success of this Review. To conduct a comprehensive assessment of current and emerging occupational health and safety issues in Ontario mines, we have sought the input, advice and expertise of the sector. An Advisory Group of industry representatives and health and safety organizations is assisting me in assessing and providing advice on a wide range of topics. In addition, with the support of the Advisory Group, I have set up Working Groups focused on the key mining health and safety issues identified for this Review. These groups are continuing their work and will make recommendations to me. Details of their work are included in an appendix to this report.
I have been very encouraged by the advice and support provided by the Advisory Group and the Working Groups, which are composed of key mining stakeholders from labour, employer and relevant health and safety organizations. The participants were invited to participate based on their demonstrated commitment to occupational health and safety in the mining sector, and their roles as recognized leaders within their professional / organizational communities. Their willingness to work together in a spirit of collaboration, mutual respect and problem-solving is integral to the success of the Review.
We have also sought broader public input through consultations and written submissions. The public consultation sessions were held in various mining communities around Ontario. Anyone was welcome to listen, participate and to share their ideas and advice to improve health and safety in the mining sector. In total, we conducted 12 public sessions across the province. Over 150 people participated, representing employers, labour, other interested parties and individuals. In addition, we have received over 60 written submissions to our public consultation document to date. An overview of what we heard can be found in this progress report.
While the final report will contain my recommendations for improving health and safety in the underground mining sector, we have identified some early deliverables and taken steps to address some key issues, such as employee visibility, training and the need for research/data to identify and understand risks and hazards.
Chief Prevention Officer
Associate Deputy Minister
The work of the Review is supported by the very considerable contributions of the members of the Advisory Group. The Advisory Group members are:
The Review is supported by a Secretariat housed in the Prevention Division of the Ministry of Labour: