Tighter controls for Ontario mines on the way

Beginning in July, mines will be under tighter restrictions as the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended to include controls recommended by the Ontario Ministry of Labour in 2015.

An emotional five years since Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier were killed by a run of muck at Stobie Mine

New regulations about reporting water levels in mines and seismic changes in rock mass are included in the amendments. (iStock)

Beginning in July, mines will be under tighter restrictions as the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended to include new recommendations from the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review Final Report.

The announcement comes on the fifth anniversary of the deaths of Jordan Fram and Jason Chenier, two Sudbury underground miners.

In 2011, the two men were killed in a sudden run of muck at Vale's Stobie Mine in Sudbury.

In September 2013, Vale pleaded guilty to three charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and was fined $1,050,000 in connection to the deaths.

The new rules require employers to manage and remove water that could pose a risk of injury to workers.

They also state that records must be kept of seismic events that are likely to cause significant rock mass damage.

Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis said that the amendments show an emphasis on preventing accidents like the one that claimed the lives of Fram and Chenier.

"If an employer isn't compliant and they want supports and tools, we're there to get them to that level," Gritziotis said. 

It is a bittersweet development for the community, as the recommendations re-open old wounds.

Wendy Fram, the mother of Jordan Fram, said the past five years have been hard for her family. 

"It's sad to say that Jason and Jordan lost their life that way in order for this to all start," she said.

"But looking forward I am pleased that it's going to be a continued effort for any issue in mining safety."

With files from Olivia Stefanovich. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges.