Labour and management focus on high-risk hazards
To improve mine safety, four new subcommittees have been established under the Mining Legislative Review Committee (Review Committee) to focus on the high-risk health and safety hazards in the Ontario mining sector. They include (1) ground control, (2) traffic management, (3) water management, and (4) ventilation and industrial hygiene subcommittees. The pre-existing hoisting subcommittee will also continue to operate under the Review Committee. Formal terms of reference and scopes of work for the priority initiatives have been developed for all five subcommittees.
Established under section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Review Committee provides the Minister of Labour with assistance and advice regarding health and safety hazards affecting the mining industry. The Review Committee includes representatives from both labour and management, and is facilitated by Ministry of Labour (MOL) staff.
“The reason for the change [to the subcommittees] is to allow for the Review Committee to better align its resources and efforts with the priority health and safety hazards in the Ontario mining sector,” says Bob Barclay, MOL Provincial Coordinator for mining. “These priority health and safety hazards were identified in the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review, which was completed in 2015.” The Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review included 18 recommendations in the final report.
“One of the recommendations, specifically 1.4, speaks to the need for the Mining Legislative Review Committee to align the majority of its work with the priority hazards identified during the review,” says Barclay.
“With the reorganization of the subcommittees, the Review Committee will become more focused, thereby allowing it to provide more information to the MOL, which we expect will result in health and safety improvements in the mining sector,” says Barclay. “These improvements may include regulatory changes, improved guidance for stakeholders, and better health and safety knowledge.”
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