September 2017 Review: Ministry of Labour Blitz Results

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) schedules blitzes and initiatives every year that aim to make workplaces safer for Ontarians. The blitzes and initiatives are scheduled in specific sectors and are meant to ensure that both the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act are being followed. As well, blitzes and initiatives enhance employer awareness of their responsibilities and their role in keeping employees safe on the job.

Safe Processing in Mines Across Ontario Blitz Summary

Processing involves various equipment and places used to wash, crush, grind, sift, reduce, leach, roast, smelt, refine, treat, or conduct research on any metallic or non-metallic mineral or mineral-bearing substance, rock, earth, clay, sand, or gravel.

Blitz Date:

Feb 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017

Blitz Goals:

  • Raise awareness of key health and safety hazards about processing at mining plants
  • Increase workplace compliance with the law
  • Prevent injuries from unsafe work practices

Blitz Results:

The MOL conducted over 38 field visits to 17 mining workplaces.

Total Orders Written:

97

Total Stop Work Orders:

6

Top Five Violations Resulting in Orders:

  1. Failure to ensure a machine that had a moving part was guarded – 9 orders
  2. Failure to ensure return and carry rollers were guarded – 9 orders
  3. Failure to ensure good working condition of equipment, materials, and protective devices – 8 orders
  4. Failure to take reasonable precautions for employee safety – 7 orders
  5. Failure to stop work on any place, equipment, device, or material until order is complied with – 6 orders

Blitz Conclusions:

The MOL concluded based on the above results that they would implement, and in some cases, have already started implementing, the following recommendations:

  • Improving requirements for high visibility safety apparel
  • Conducting risk assessments across Ontario mines
  • Implementing regulatory amendments for key recommendations pertaining to risk assessments, water management, and traffic management

Employers, supervisors, Joint Health and Safety Committee members must work together to identify hazards at mining plants. Ministry officials will continue to focus on hazards associated with safe processing in mines.


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