[Ontario] Province seeks input on proposals stemming from mining review – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – November 28, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn says the provincial government intends to act on all recommendations by the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review Final Report, beginning with a series of proposed amendments presented for consultation on Thursday.

Proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Ac including the introduction of new requirements for mines and mining plants to conduct risk assessments and have formal traffic management programs, the strengthening of existing requirements for water management and ground control, and the updating of training requirements for surface diamond drill operators.

“What I think it is is proof positive that all the work that went into the mining review was time well-spent,” Flynn said. “When we came out of it, everyone seemed to be marching in lock step. It got off to a bit of a rough start and I think there was some mistrust and suspicion, from a number of sides, as to whether this would be a good way of proceeding.

To their credit, all sides stuck with it, business and labour and the health and safety advocates stuck with it and they have come out with a series of recommendations.

“Then, the proof is in the pudding – do you start to act on the recommendations? So you start to put them into effect. I think today is a clear indication the work that was done by the mining review was taken very seriously by the government and the Ministry of Labour and we’re actually starting to see these things fall into place.”

The deaths of two local men, Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier, due to a run of muck at a Vale’s Stobie Mine in 2011 sparked the review to improve mine safety.

The review committee was established in December 2013 and a final report, outlining 18 recommendations, was presented in April 2015.

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