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BACKGROUNDER

Blitz Targets Workplace Responsibilities in Mines

  • Issued: July 3, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: July 2013
  • See also: Bulletin | Mining

Inspectors will target workplace responsibilities in mines to prevent injuries and illness during a blitz in July and August.

The increased enforcement is part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance initiative, launched in June 2008.

During the blitz, mining inspectors will focus on the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) in mining workplaces. The IRS is a system in which everyone – employers, supervisors and workers – all have key roles in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.

Mines with a good IRS generally have fewer health and safety issues because the IRS promotes a co-operative approach to compliance with Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

The Ontario Government has made mine safety a priority. Six new minings regulations have been enacted into law and ten blitzes focused on the mining sector have been conducted in the past five years targeting safety gear, ventilation systems and loading pocket system hazards.

Blitz Focus

During the blitz, inspectors will target:

  • surface mines, underground mines and mining plants
  • recently reopened or new mines
  • mines with a poor compliance history

Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, in response to any violations of the OHSA and its regulations.

Priorities

Mining inspectors will check that:

  • employers are reviewing the workplace's safety policy at least annually
  • programs exist to implement the safety policy in the workplace
  • workers are aware of the safety policy and their roles and responsibilities in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace
  • an active Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative exists in the workplace, where required, and safety training has been provided to committee members and representatives, as required by the OHSA

Jonathan Rose, Minister's Office, 416-326-7709
Matt Blajer, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

ontario.ca/labour-news
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