TORONTO—An Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) blitz on mobile equipment and traffic controls measures in under-ground and surface mines has resulted in 274 orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), including 21 stop work orders.
Ministry inspectors conducted 99 visits to 85 mining workplaces as part of the blitz, which took place during July and August 2015. Mining inspectors and engineers targeted traffic control hazards, checking to ensure employers were complying with the OHSA and making sure there were adequate procedures in place to protect workers.
Locomotives and vehicles such as haulage trucks, loaders and excavators are typically seen at mines. Traffic control measures are used when the operator's visibility is limited, as these situations can put workers on foot who are near the vehicle at risk.
According to the MOL, between 2000 and 2014, 12 workers died in Ontario mines as a result of incidents involving motor vehicles and mobile equipment. Collisions were included in these incidents.
The 2015 summer blitz targeted recently reopened or new mines, mines where previous motor vehicle and/or mobile equipment hazards were seen, mines where previous safety incidents involving traffic control occurred and those with a poor compliance history.
The MOL conducted the blitz in order to raise awareness about health and safety hazards involving interaction with vehicles, mobile equipment and workers at underground and surface mines; increase workplace compliance with the law; and prevent injuries and illness that could occur from unsafe work practices.