New safety regulations for Ontario mines

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Top 7 changes you should know about

Mining safety infographic and key hazard assessment service

Two mining workers discussing health and safetyTo improve mine safety, changes have been made to Regulation 854 Mines and Mining Plants of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments relate to risk assessments and high-risk hazards, including water and traffic management, recording of seismic events, as well as changes to requirements for conveyors and surface diamond drill training.

“In order to help mining companies meet these new requirements, Workplace Safety North offers a new on-site hazard assessment service,” 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 these assessments.” 

“The amendments outlined in the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review help protect workers from high-risk hazards,” says Parent. “Everyone has a role to play, from frontline workers to health and safety committee members to management, that’s why it’s important for all levels to learn about the updated regulation. It’s up to Ontario employers to ensure they are complying with the requirements set out by the Ministry of Labour.” 

Amendments become law 

New Ontario legal requirements as of July 1, 2016

1. Requirements for high visibility workwear: All workers who work underground, or on surface between sunset and sunrise, need to wear clothing that meets new requirements as set out in Regulation 854, including retro-reflective material on the front, back and sides of head gear. 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. HVSA and retro-reflective material on headgear must be in good condition so that the worker is visible. 

2. Guards and emergency stopping devices on conveyors: Changes to requirements for conveyor guards allow employers to use fences, barricades, and gates with an interlocking device to prevent worker access to conveyor pinch points in some cases. In addition, existing requirements for pull cords on conveyors now include the use of other emergency stopping devices to reflect technological updates. 

3. Updates to training for surface diamond drilling: Changes to the modular training program for diamond drill operations require all workers engaged in surface diamond drilling operations be trained in the appropriate common core and speciality modules. 

New Ontario legal requirements as of January 1, 2017

4. Risk assessments for all hazards and potential hazards: Employers must assess and manage the risks of hazards and potential hazards that could arise in the workplace due to the type of work or the conditions of work. Employers will be required to develop and maintain written measures to control the risks, and eliminate the hazards, where possible, depending on the likelihood for worker injury or illness. The risk assessment must be reviewed annually, or as often as is necessary.

5. Requirements for water management programs: Owners of underground mines will be required to develop and maintain a written water management program, which includes measures and procedures to:

• Identify areas of the mine where water is likely to accumulate

• Control the volume of water that may enter the mine, either naturally or as a result of the mining process

• Prevent unwanted or uncontrolled flows of water in all areas of the mine

• Effectively and safely manage and remove water that could injure a worker

• Maintain all components of water removal and drainage systems 

The program must be reviewed annually, as well as, following any significant change to the water removal system.

6. Requirements for traffic management programs: Employers will be required to develop and maintain a written traffic management program. The program must include measures and procedures to prevent motor vehicle collisions by addressing hazards related to reduced visibility of motor vehicle operators, and protect the health and safety of workers who may be endangered by a moving motor vehicle. The program must be review at least annually. 

7. Recording of seismic events: Currently, a rock burst and an uncontrolled fall of ground must be recorded. The changes will require that a seismic event be recorded if it is likely to cause significant rock mass damage or ground instability in or near the active area of a mine.

For detailed information on the new regulations, visit the Ministry of Labour website.

For more information, contact a WSN Mining Health and Safety Specialist in your area.


New key hazard assessment service for mining sector

New mining safety legislation on high visibility workwear July 1

Ground control assessment

Conveyor assessments

Risk assessment workshop

Traffic Management Plan - Leading Practices