Changes To Ontario Mining Regulations Increase Protection For Miners



    McGuinty Government Moves To Improve Safety in Ontario Mines

    TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is improving health and
safety protection for mine workers in Ontario by enhancing or updating
training, vehicle and elevator safety and explosive storage and handling
requirements, Labour Minister Steve Peters announced today.
    "The mining sector is part of the foundation of Ontario's economy," said
Peters. "Its workers face potentially dangerous situations on a daily basis.
These changes will help to ensure they are better trained and protected and
continue to contribute to a strong economy and a healthy Ontario."
    The Ministry of Labour has worked with the mining industry to develop
amendments to the Mining Regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety
Act, that reflect the latest developments in the industry and will help
improve Ontario mine safety. Representatives of employers and workers have
contributed to these amendments and are strongly supportive.

    Sections of the Mining Regulations now being enhanced include:
    
    -   Training requirements, reflecting the latest programs offered to the
        industry
    -   Vehicle safety provisions, including standards for falling object
        protection and braking standards
    -   Underground storage and transportation requirements for explosives,
        including new requirements for bulk explosives vehicles, and
    -   Updated standards for elevator safety.
    

    "The health and safety of Ontario workers is our number one concern,"
said Peters. "These changes reflect our government's commitment to enhance and
modernize workplace health and safety regulations and reduce workplace
injuries in all workplaces."

    Disponible en français
    
                             www.labour.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
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                         MINING REGULATION AMENDMENTS
    

    The Ministry of Labour works regularly with the mining industry to
develop amendments to the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants, under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), that reflect developments in the
industry and will help improve Ontario mine safety.
    The Mining Legislative Review Committee (MLRC) is a committee appointed
under the OHSA and includes representatives of employers and workers. The MLRC
contributed to these amendments and its members are strongly supportive.
    Changes to training requirements, explained below, come into effect on
April 1, 2007. Other amendments listed below come into effect on October 1,
2007.

    Updated Training Requirements

    Amendments to the training requirements in the Mining Regulations reflect
changes made by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). A
new, user-friendly table format detailing the training programs has also been
developed for the regulation.
    The MTCU revamped the Common Core Training Program for the First Line
Underground Mine Supervisor, Underground Hard Rock Mining.
    Working with the industry, MTCU also developed and introduced new Common
Core training programs for supervisors in soft rock mining, and for other
mines and mining plants (not including smelters, mills and refineries).
Changes to the training requirements provide the proper recognition to these
programs.

    Vehicle Safety Provisions

    New requirements for motor vehicles used in underground mines update the
standard adopted for the use of overhead protective devices. These devices are
used to protect operators of vehicles from falling objects in areas where
other means of protection aren't in place.
    The brake requirements for motor vehicles used in mines have also been
updated. Brake system standards are also adopted for various types of motor
vehicles used underground and on the surface.

    Underground Storage and Transportation of Explosives

    Several changes have been made to the Mining Regulations that will
improve safety or update requirements related to explosives in underground
mines, including:

    
    -   Updating the reference to the federal standard adopted for storing
        explosives
    -   Requiring that all explosives, not just those required to be kept in
        magazines, be noted on a plan that is kept readily available at the
        mine and kept up to date
    -   Specifying where all underground explosives, not just those used for
        long hole or similar blasting operations, are located
    -   Updating the electrical safety requirements for explosive storage
        areas
    -   Introducing a new requirement that motor vehicles or trains
        underground display and operate a flashing red light whenever
        explosives are being transported, and
    -   Introducing new requirements for bulk explosives vehicles, requiring
        the provision of fire suppression systems, designated parking places,
        and the use of power washing to reduce the risk of fire when the
        vehicles are not in use.
    

    Elevator Safety Standards

    These amendments adopt more recent Canadian Standards Association
standards for elevators installed on or after October 1, 2007.

    Disponible en français
    
                             www.labour.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Members of the general public: (705) 670-5695,
Mining Health and Safety Program; Members of the media: Susan McConnell,
Minister's Office, (416) 326-7710; Belinda Sutton, Ministry of Labour, (416)
326-7405

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