International viewers join packed Sudbury event via live webcast
In April, members of the Ontario mining industry gathered to share their knowledge about health and safety. The conference theme, Taming high-risk hazards, was based on the findings from the recent provincial Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review.
The annual reunion gave attendees an opportunity to connect with friends old and new, and enjoy lively keynote speakers and detailed technical presentations. For the first time ever, the conference was live streamed via webcast and viewed by people from all over the world. Enjoy these photo highlights, and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Welcome and opening remarks: Candys Ballanger-Michaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of Workplace Safety North, welcomed attendees to the 2016 Mining Health and Safety Conference. Ballanger-Michaud was pleased to announce that Workplace Safety North and Ontario Mine Rescue will host the International Mine Rescue Competition in August 2016 in Sudbury!
The courage to care: Candys Ballanger-Michaud with keynote speaker Candace Carnahan. Workplace safety advocate Carnahan uses her experience with workplace injury to challenge others to look critically at health and safety practices. The loss of her leg in a New Brunswick sawmill taught her that the importance of being mindful and aware at all times. By having the courage to care and speak up, you could save someone’s life. As Candace says, “If you SEE something, SAY something!”
Ontario mining review: George Gritziotis, Chief Prevention Officer of the Ministry of Labour, provided an update on the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review. The final report included 18 approved recommendations that address key hazard areas, including ground control, water management, and occupational illnesses caused by silica and diesel exhaust. Gritziotis encourages the mining sector to persevere, “Health and safety isn’t something with a beginning and an ending.”
Industry Panel: Influential industry leaders shared their knowledge about diverse health and safety issues in the form of a panel. Conference attendees joined the discussion by asking panel members questions on the topics of substance abuse programs, health and safety training for youth, occupational disease prevention, and more. Delegates also heard from Mike Parent, Mining Director of Workplace Safety North, on the latest injury and occupational disease trends.
Stand up against mental health stigma: Big Daddy Tazz, comedian and motivational speaker, has a passion for making people laugh. He uses humour and his own struggle with mental health to educate others on the importance of breaking the silence around mental health stigma. In the workplace, Big Daddy Tazz believes in providing workers with the support they need, no questions asked. Everyone has a role to play in creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Information Exchange Trade Show: On Wednesday afternoon, conference attendees visited more than 30 exhibitors. New this year, the trade show included an outside tent to accommodate exhibitors displaying large equipment.
Improving mining safety culture: The next day, attendees chose from 18 technical sessions on a variety of topics, including working at heights, workplace fatigue, nutrition, workplace health and safety culture, and more. Cindy Schiewek, Culture, Learning/Development and Audit Specialist at Workplace Safety North, explained how the Climate Assessment and Audit Tool (CAAT) addresses a key recommendation in the mining review. Throughout 2016, this tool is being used in a pilot study to identify the main areas the mining sector (and all sectors) should be focusing on to improve health and safety ecosystems.
The Ultimate Ending: The conference closed with storyteller extraordinaire, Paul Huschilt and his World-Famous Conference Ending Summary. Huschilt had delegates doubled over in laughter as he led them through a comical recount of the important messages and highlights of the two-day event.
Congratulations to all mine safety award winners -- see below for award photos!