The Ontario Ministry of Labour will focus on hazards at underground mines this fall.
In November and December, mining inspectors will check on hazards involving two specific types of systems used to transfer ore inside underground mines, the ministry said. These two systems are the most hazardous of any ore transfer system:
- ore pass (vertical or inclined passage used for the downward transfer of ore)
- loading pocket (chamber excavated in the rock at the base of an ore pass where rock is stored).
The inspectors will check the following:
- adequate procedures are in place and being used to protect workers from hazards
- water is being controlled to prevent hazards
- equipment is well designed and maintained in good condition
- workers are warned of hazards.
The blitz is part of the Ontario government's Safe at Work Ontario enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, 47 inspection blitzes and issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.