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BULLETIN

Safety Blitz Targets Water in Underground Mines

Ontario Government Committed To Preventing Workplace Injuries

  • Issued: January 29, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: January 2015
  • See also: Backgrounder | Mining

NEWS

Ontario will target water accumulation and related hazards during a two-month enforcement blitz to protect workers in underground mines this winter.

In February and March, 2015, mining inspectors and engineers will check for hazards that could cause water to build up and infiltrate ore passes and raises (vertical shafts), ore storage bins and other areas in underground mines across Ontario.

They will check that the mines have good water management practices and proper procedures to assess and address hazards to protect workers.

The inspectors and engineers will check that employers are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

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

QUOTES

"Our government is committed to preventing injuries and illnesses in Ontario mines. In addition to blitzes such as this one, we’re conducting a comprehensive mining safety review to further the health and safety of mine workers. All workers deserve to come home to their families safe and sound at the end of each work day."
– Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour

"Workers are at risk of serious injury and death if water is not managed properly and allowed to accumulate. We must all work together to improve health and safety at Ontario mines. We challenge employers, labour groups and workers to do their part. We all have a role and responsibility in preventing injury and illness."
– George Gritziotis, Chief Prevention Officer

QUICK FACTS

  • Between 2000 and 2014, three workers died in Ontario mines after being engulfed by runs of material due to the material being saturated with water.
  • The Ministry of Labour completed three mining blitzes in 2014: explosives in mines, ground stability and hoisting plants.
  • Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, and 70 inspection blitzes and inspectors have 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.

Read about the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review led by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer.

Safety Blitz Targets Water in Underground Mines

Craig MacBride, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7709
William Lin, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

ontario.ca/labour-news
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