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Locking and Tagging in Mine Hoist Plants

Safe At Work Ontario
  • Issued: January 29, 2014
  • Content last reviewed: January 2014

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

Hazards involving locking and tagging in underground mine hoist plants can result in serious injuries, occupational diseases and death.

Equipment is locked out and tagged to protect workers from possible movement of hoisting equipment and/or exposure to harmful electrical currents.

Ontario has about 40 underground mines, with approximately 25,000 workers. Most of these mines are located in Northern Ontario and have a hoisting plant. A wide variety of minerals are extracted from Ontario’s underground mines, including copper, nickel, gold and other precious metals, diamonds, salt and gypsum.

The most commonly issued orders under the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants are for hazards involving locking and tagging.

As new mines are developed and older mines are modernized, changes to technology and systems for mine hoisting plants are becoming more complicated. This requires closer scrutiny by the Ministry of Labour, especially for locking and tagging.

Some general duties of workplace parties

The following are some examples of employers' duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

Employers

Among other things, employers are required to:

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety, which includes protection from locking and tagging
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers
  • provide required equipment, materials and protective devices, and ensure these are used and maintained properly
  • report critical injuries and deaths to the Ministry of Labour, trade union (if any), and the workplace’s Joint Health and Safety Committee or health and safety representative

Supervisors

Among other things, supervisors are required to:

  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
  • provide workers, when required, with written instructions on measures and procedures to protect workers
  • ensure workers comply with the OHSA and Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants
  • ensure workers use or wear any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer
  • advise workers of any potential or actual health and safety dangers the supervisor knows about

Workers

Among other things, workers are required to:

  • report to their supervisor or employer any hazards of which they are aware, including those related to locking and tagging, as well as any contraventions of the OHSA and its regulations
  • work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
  • use the devices/safety equipment required by their employer

Compliance information

Toll-free number

Call 1-877-202-0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday for general inquiries about workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.

Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.