Sudbury·Audio

Mining Health Safety and Prevention Review: what's happening now

One year after 18 recommendations were made to improve mine safety in Ontario, the province has moved forward on 11 of them.
CBC News spoke with Mike Parent, the director of mining with Workplace Safety North, for a look at what's been done since 18 recommendations were made following the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review last year. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Last year, 18 recommendations were made following the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review. For a look at what's been done so far, the CBC's Martha Dillman spoke with Mike Parent, the director of mining with Workplace Safety North.

One year after 18 recommendations were made to improve mine safety in Ontario, the province has moved forward on 11 of them.

An update about the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review was given to delegates yesterday at a conference underway in Sudbury.

The review was started in 2014, after pressure from the United Steelworkers union and the families of two men who died while working in a Sudbury mine.

The Ministry of Labour's mining engineer, Bob Barclay, said some recommendations have led to more discussions.

For example, Barclay said a review done on underground mining is prompting officials to see if something similar could be done for surface mining.

"So we're currently engaged in collaborating with surface mining stakeholders to plan a surface mining risk assessment, which we hope will take place later this year," he said.
George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, says that, in the next year, the remaining seven recommendations will move ahead. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Once a recommendation is implemented, it's still important to continue to think about and review mine safety, said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

"Looking at the age of mines [and] going deeper, what might have been a ground control issue 20 years ago would be a different ground control issue today," he said.

Keeping an eye on new technology, and maintaining a "leading-edge, forward-looking approach to health and safety" is part of that ongoing review process, he added.

Gritziotis said that in the next year, the remaining seven recommendations will move ahead.

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