Ontario launched a mining health and safety review in the wake of tragedy, but provincial labour minister Kevin Flynn had a good-news story to tell during his stop in Sudbury on Thursday. Flynn visited the Nickel City to mark the implementation of new requirements to improve health and safety of workers in mines, which became effective on Jan. 1.
“Today was really an announcement of what we have been able to accomplish so far and we’re seeing the fruits of what was done in the mining review a few years back, when everybody had a sense of optimism, like ‘It looks like we’ve done a good job here; let’s start implementing the recommendations,’ ” Flynn, the MPP for Oakville, said on Thursday afternoon, shortly before speaking at a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce lunch.
New requirements the minister highlighted on Thursday include:
– Assessing and managing the risks of hazards and potential hazards that may arise in the mining industry, and developing and maintaining written measures to control the risks of those hazards in the workplace;
– Developing and maintaining a written water management program that includes measures and procedures to prevent any accumulation or unwanted flow of water that may endanger workers in underground mines;
– Developing and maintaining a written traffic management program that includes measures and procedures to address workplace hazards related to reduced or impeded visibility of drivers;
– Recording seismic events that are likely to cause significant rock mass damage, compromise the effectiveness of the ground support system, or occur in or near an active mining area.
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