Ontario New rules govern water in mines, seismic activity – by Staff (Sudbury Star – January 14, 2017)

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Companies must do more to control the build up of water in mines and to record and act on seismic events. They are part of amendments to Regulation 854 Mines and Mining Plants of the Occupational Health and Safety Act went into law on Jan. 1.

The regulatory changes relate to risk assessments, water and traffic management programs, and recording of seismic events. It’s up to Ontario employers to ensure they are complying with the requirements set out by the Ministry of Labour.

“The updated regulation requires Ontario mines to conduct risk assessments for all hazards,” says Mike Parent, mining director at Workplace Safety North, Ontario’s mining health and safety association. “Risk assessments are the building blocks for successful health and safety management systems.

“Due to the levels of risk water impoundment and traffic bring to a mine, it’s important to conduct risk assessments as they are essential in the development, implementation and maintenance of management programs for these hazards.”

To help mining companies meet these new requirements, Workplace Safety North is offering on-site hazard assessment service.

WSN’s mining health and safety specialists include experts in ventilation, ground control and industrial hygiene, so the agency encourages companies to take advantage of this service.

“Everyone has a role to play, from frontline workers to health and safety committee members to management, that’s why it’s important for all levels to learn about the updated regulation,” says Parent.

These are some of the new requirements:

1. Risk assessments for all hazards and potential hazards: Employers must assess and manage the risks of hazards and potential hazards that could arise in the workplace due to the type of work or the conditions of work. Employers will be required to develop and maintain written measures to control the risks, and eliminate the hazards, where possible, depending on the likelihood for worker injury or illness. Risk assessments must be reviewed annually, or as often as is necessary.

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