TORONTO - Ontario Labour Minister Steve Peters has announced a number of changes to the provincial mining regulations aimed at increasing protection for industry workers. The ministry 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.
Training requirements for mine workers have been updated. The Common Core Training Program for underground hard rock supervisors has been revamped and the programs extended to supervisors in soft rock mines, other mines and plants (not including smelters, mills and refineries).
Two changes have been made to improve vehicular safety. The standard for the use of overhead protective devices on underground equipment is new. Improved braking systems for motor vehicles in mines and in certain surface applications have been adopted.
Regulations to improve safety or update the handling and storage of explosives in underground mines will take effect on Oct. 1, 2007. The locations of all underground explosives, not just those used for longhole or similar blasting operations, must be specified. There is a new requirement that vehicles or trains underground display and operate a flashing red light whenever explosives are being transported. New rules for bulk explosives vehicles covering fire suppression systems, designated parking places, and power washing of unused vehicles will be enforced.
Lastly, cages will have to conform to updated elevator standards.
Public enquiries regarding the Mining Health and Safety Program are invited at 705-670-5695.