Remain relentless: Sudbury safety conference – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star – April 7, 2016)

A good deal of work has been done in the last year to act upon 18 recommendations in the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review, but people in the sector must be relentless about continuing that momentum, says a mining engineer.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas pedal,” the provincial co-ordinator of mining for the Ministry of Labour told more than 250 people Wednesday at a mining safety conference in Sudbury.

Several of those recommendations related to high hazards and risk assessments in underground mines, Barclay said at the Workplace Safety North Mining Health and Safety Conference at the Holiday Inn.

One was formalizing the requirement to conduct risk assessments every three years. And while the mining review only looked at underground operations, it would be “prudent” to do risk assessment in surface plants, as well, said Barclay.

Some recommendations resulted in suggested amendments to the Mining Act, which are now being reviewed internally at the ministry and will be presented for cabinet consideration later this year.

Barclay also spoke about how work is being done to more closely align the work of the Mining Legislative Review Committee with recommendations in the mining review report.

The MLRC is a group of government, industry and labour leaders who review existing mining regulations and make recommendations to improve them.

Another improvement since the report was presented last April is the hiring of more Labour ministry mining inspectors. Work is also being done by the Labour ministry and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to make improvements to the system of coroner’s inquests into mining deaths.

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