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BULLETIN

Summer Workplace Blitz Targets Mine Safety

Government Committed to Preventing Workplace Injuries and Keeping Workers Safe

Ontario is launching a province-wide safety blitz targeting underground and surfaces mines this summer to ensure these facilities have an effective internal responsibility system (IRS) in place to help keep workers safe.

In July and August, Ministry of Labour inspectors will inspect underground and surface mines and also ensure that these workplaces have an effective IRS in place, which promotes compliance with Ontario's occupational health and safety legislation.

The IRS promotes a co-operative approach to health and compliance with Ontario's health and safety regulations. It brings together all workplace parties, including employers, supervisors and employees, that have key roles and take responsibility for workplace health and safety to develop procedures and protocols that protect workers in the mining sector.

Mining inspectors will focus on the IRS by checking that:

  • employers have a safety policy posted in the workplace that is reviewed at least annually and have a program in place to implement that policy
  • workers are aware of the policy and their roles and responsibilities
  • an active Joint Health and Safety committee or health and safety representative exists in the workplace where required

The Ontario Government has made mining 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. Protecting mine workers is part of the government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario strategy.

QUOTE

"We all have a role to play preventing workplace injuries and keeping workers safe. Even one injury is one too many. These safety blitzes and the Internal Responsibility System are a key part of that and the government is committed to making sure that every worker in Ontario's underground and surface mines returns home safely to their loved ones at night."
— Yasir Naqvi, Ontario Minister of Labour

"An effective IRS can lead to fewer incidents. We're working to improve health and safety at Ontario mines."
— George Gritziotis, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer

QUICK FACTS

  • The mining industry has achieved some of the lowest injury rates in the province.
  • Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, 52 inspection blitzes.
  • And issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.

LEARN MORE

Read more about Ontario's Safe At Work Ontario strategy to improve workplace safety.

Learn more about the Ministry of Labour’s Mining Sector Plan 2013-2014.

Internal Responsibility System in Underground Mines (Backgrounder)

Jonathan Rose, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7709

Matt Blajer, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

ontario.ca/labour-news
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