New mining safety legislation on high visibility workwear July 1

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Top 3 changes you should know about

High Visibility Safety Apparel for Mines and Mining Plants – MOL Health and Safety Guideline

Underground mine worker wearing high visibility safety apparelTo better protect Ontario miners, as of July 1, 2016, all workers who are working underground, or on surface between sunset and sunrise, must wear high visibility safety apparel that meets the requirements of sections 262 and 263 of Regulation 854 Mines and Mining Plants of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It will be up to Ontario employers to ensure they are complying with the high visibility safety apparel requirements set out by the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

Fatalities, injuries and ‘close calls’ involving vehicles and pedestrian workers in mining environments can be prevented by increasing worker visibility. High visibility safety apparel is important in workspaces where large equipment and impaired visibility affect safety. The Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review highlighted preventing incidents around mobile equipment as a top five priority. 

“Due to the nature of underground mining, the majority of incidents take place in dark and poorly lit areas. Operators of heavy mobile equipment also have restricted sightlines,” says Gerry Champagne, Health and Safety Specialist at Workplace Safety North (WSN). “Visibility can be significantly increased by strategically placing retro-reflective material on work coveralls and hardhats, and wearing fluorescent or bright coloured garments.”

Top 3 changes to workwear for miners
Ontario legal requirements

Graphic of class 3 coveralls

  1. High visibility safety apparel for every worker: As of July 1, 2016, all workers who are working underground, or on surface between sunset and sunrise, will need to wear clothing that meets new requirements set out in Regulation 854, including retro-reflective material on the front, back and sides of head gear. 

  2. Background material and retro-reflective striping: As of July 1, 2016, for enhanced visibility, Regulation 854 will also require that high visibility safety apparel be made of fluorescent or bright coloured background material. Retro-reflective striping must be on the outside of the garment, measure at least 50 mm in width, completely encircle the waist, each arm and each leg below the knee, and be arranged in two vertical lines on the front of the garment and in the form of an “X” on the back of the garment.

  3. Maintenance of high visibility safety apparel: HVSA and retro-reflective material on head gear must be in good condition so that the worker is visible. 

For detailed information on the new regulations, download guidelines posted above, and visit the Ministry of Labour website.

For information from your Ontario mining health and safety association, contact


Pedestrian-Mobile Equipment Visibility Guideline

Mobile Equipment Assessments