Officer addresses progress on mine safety rec’s – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 4, 2016)

Ontario chief prevention officer George Gritziotis will be in Sudbury this week to speak to attendees at a mining safety conference and provide an update on the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review.

Gritziotis presented the report, a culmination of a 15-month review process, a year ago at the 2015 Workplace Safety North Mining and Safety Conference. He will report on progress on its 18 recommendations Wednesday. Labour Minister Kevin Flynn attended the launch of the report last year and promised government action on all of the report’s recommendations.

In a telephone interview last week, Gritziotis said one of the recommendations of the mining review was that the Mining Legislative Review Committee align its work with the major hazards identified in a mining sector risk assessment.

As a result, the MLRC has struck three new sub-committees based on hazards identified in the review process.

The review committee identified more than 200 hazards in mining, as many as 40 of them relating to ground control or ground instability. Gritziotis said five of the top 10 risks identified in underground mines in the report were ground control.

Ground control was also top of mind earlier this year at a coroner’s inquest into the Jan. 29, 2012 death of development miner Stephen Perry, 47, at Vale’s Coleman Mine in Levack. The first of 10 recommendations made by the jury at that inquest related to ground control.

Perry was killed when 14 tons of rock fell on him from the face where he was loading explosives into holes.

Gritziotis said ground control stood out as a key issue during the review committee’s analysis, consultation and data collection as one of the chief causes of fatalities in underground mines.

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