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Ventilation Hazards in Underground Mines

Safe At Work Ontario
  • Issued: January 9, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: January 2013
  • See also: Mining

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.

Workers are at risk of developing occupational disease or suffering respiratory-related death caused by ventilation hazards and exposure to diesel emissions in underground mines.

In Ontario, about 18,000 people work in about 40 active underground mines.

Employers are responsible for controlling hazards in the workplace.

Employers, supervisors and workers have a number of duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.

Some of the duties include:

Employers

  • develop and implement testing measures and procedures for diesel equipment, in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative
  • provide test results, as required, to the JHSC or health and safety representative
  • investigate overexposure to diesel emissions and take remedial action, if possible, to prevent future incidents
  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers, including precautions to prevent hazards created by poor air quality in underground mines

Supervisors

  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers, including precautions to prevent hazards created by poor air quality in underground mines
  • ensure workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations
  • ensure workers use 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

  • report to your supervisor or employer any ventilation hazards you know about as well as any violations of the OHSA and its regulations
  • work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
  • use any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by your employer

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 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.