Recent mining safety legislation results in on-site hazard assessment service
A new mining health and safety infographic developed by Workplace Safety North (WSN), in collaboration with the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), depicts a timeline of major developments in occupational health and safety between 1890 and present day, while illustrating improvements in workers' personal protective equipment.
The Ontario mining sector employs over 21,000 full-time workers. Over the last 10 years, the mining sector has achieved a 62 percent improvement in lost-time injury (LTI) frequency, according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. The most common lost-time injuries occur when a worker is struck by an object or equipment, experiences sprains and strains from repetitive motion as well as slips, trips, and falls in the workplace.
Most recently, Ontario released the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review final report containing 18 consensus recommendations to improve the health and safety of underground mine workers. Since the release of the report, new regulations have been implemented which relate to risk assessments and high-risk hazards, including high visibility workwear, water and traffic management programs, recording of seismic events, and changes to requirements for conveyors and surface diamond training.
“Workplace Safety North offers a free on-site hazard assessment service to help mining companies meet new requirements,” says Mike Parent, WSN Mining Director. “Our mining health and safety specialists include experts in ventilation, ground control, and industrial hygiene, so we encourage companies to take advantage of this service.”
Key Hazard Assessments
- Ground control, including risks associated with seismicity and rockbursts
- Occupational disease, focusing on exposure to airborne hazards
- Water management, particularly problematic water in ore and waste passages
- Mobile equipment and the risks of collisions
- Worker fatigue
- Controls for worker training
Assessments are comprised of two sections: legislative and regulatory compliance review to ensure the operations meet current rules governing the hazard; and risk assessment and control review to ensure each operation has conducted a thorough risk assessment for the hazard and, more importantly, to ensure programs are in place so that required controls are routinely audited for effectiveness.
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