Last Fall the Ministry of Labour Safety Blitz focused on hazards at underground mines; specifically, the hazards which arose from two or more transfer systems.
This Fall, the Ministry is again focusing on the mining industry. This time, MOL Inspectors will focus on ensuring mines have measures in place to control, monitor and prevent the collapse of mine floors as well as rock bursts from mine roofs and walls. Since 2000, this hazard has led to five deaths and 25 serious injuries in underground mines in Ontario.
During the blitz, Inspectors will focus on:
- Design: has a proper engineering analysis been conducted?
- Reporting: have previous incidents of ground instability or rock bursts been reported? Have records been kept of those incidents?
- Communication: is there a program in place to facilitate communication between the supervisors and workers with respect to ground control?
- Ground Support Systems: is there a formal program in place to ensure that ground support systems are properly installed?
In Ontario, approximately 25,000 workers are employed by 40 underground mines, located predominately in Northern Ontario.