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BULLETIN

Safety Blitz Targets Underground Mines this Fall

Ontario Government Committed To Preventing Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

  • Issued: September 27, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: September 2013
  • See also: Backgrounder | Mining

Ontario will visit underground mines across the province this fall to check for hazards and help prevent the collapse of excavated rock areas to keep miners safe.

Provincial mining inspectors and engineers will focus on ensuring that mines have proper controls and measures in place to prevent rock collapses as well as to prevent "rockbursts."

Their inspections will also focus on:

  • How an excavation is designed, including how it will be dug out and structurally supported.
  • Whether uncontrolled falls of ground or rockbursts are being reported to the Ministry of Labour
  • If a formal program exists between supervisors and workers for communicating issues involving stability of excavations

Mine safety is a priority for the Ontario government. Six new mining regulations have been enacted and 11 blitzes focused on the mining sector have also been conducted in the past five years targeting safety gear, ventilation systems, loading pocket and internal responsibility systems.

Protecting mine workers is part of the government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses through its Safe At Work Ontario strategy while creating jobs and helping people in their everyday lives.

QUOTE

"Making sure miners and all workers in Ontario are able to go home to their families at the end of their shift is what these blitzes and new safety measures are all about. Keeping workers safe means they can focus on building a stronger economy and a stronger Ontario."
— Yasir Naqvi, Ontario Minister of Labour

"Ensuring the safety of Ontario's 27,000 mine workers is certainly one of my top priorities, and one that is shared across our government. Nobody in Ontario should ever go to work and feel unsafe and I applaud the strong effort that our government has made to ensure that one of Ontario's safest industries remains that way."
— Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines

"As underground mines become older and deeper, they are more prone to ground instability. We're working to improve health and safety at Ontario mines."
— George Gritziotis, Chief Prevention Officer

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario has about 40 underground mines, with about 25,000 workers. Most of these mines are located in Northern Ontario.
  • Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, and 56 inspection blitzes.
  • The mining sector has achieved some of the lowest injury rates in the province.

LEARN MORE

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

Learn about the ministry's Mining Sector Plan 2013-2014.

Preventing Rock Falls and Bursts 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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