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Mobile Equipment in Underground Mines

Safe At Work Ontario
  • Issued: July 17, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: July 2015

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.

Overview

Workers can be at risk of injury or even death if hazards exist involving motor vehicles and mobile equipment at underground and surface mines.

These hazards can be prevented by putting traffic control policies and procedures in place to protect workers. Such measures can include proper reflective clothing, effective illumination, monitoring work conditions, and education and training.

Employers are responsible for protecting workers from motor vehicles and mobile equipment hazards in mines.

Hazards can include workers:

  • being struck by or run over by equipment
  • crushed between equipment
  • falling off mobile equipment while performing maintenance
  • driving into an unguarded open hole underground

Between 2000 and 2014, 12 workers died in Ontario mines as a result of incidents involving motor vehicles and mobile equipment. These incidents included collisions.

Some general duties of workplace parties

Employers

Some examples of employers' duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):

  • provide information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety, including on safe work policies and procedures specific to the workplace and the type of work the worker will perform
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
  • ensure prescribed measures and procedures are carried out in the workplace
  • ensure equipment, materials and protective devices required by the regulations are provided and maintained in good condition
  • provide assistance to, and co-operate with, the mine’s Joint Health and Safety Committee and/or a health and safety representative
  • prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy for the workplace and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy
  • post a copy of the OHSA in the workplace

Supervisors

Some examples of supervisors’ OHSA duties:

  • ensure workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations
  • ensure any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer is used and/or worn by workers
  • advise workers of any potential or actual health and safety dangers known by the supervisor
  • if prescribed, provide workers with written instructions about measures and procedures to be taken for the workers’ protection
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for workers’ protection

Workers

Some examples of workers’ OHSA duties:

  • use or operate equipment in a safe manner
  • report defects in equipment to your supervisor or employer
  • work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
  • report any known workplace hazards or OHSA violations to your supervisor or employer
  • know your OHSA rights, including the right to refuse unsafe work and the right to know about any potential hazards you may be exposed to in the workplace

Protecting workers

Employers, supervisors and trainers should encourage workers to communicate any questions or concerns they may have about motor vehicle and mobile equipment hazards. Supervisors or others involved in training workers should be familiar with any health and safety concerns faced by the workers.

Compliance information

Call toll-free

Call 1-877-202-0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-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.