In April 2007, the Minister of Labour for Ontario, Steve Peters, announced that the government is implementing changes to the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants under the OHSA to improve mine safety based on developments in the industry in recent years.
The amendments, include:
1. Training: Amendments to training requirements to reflect changes made by the Ministry of Training, colleges and Universities (MTCU) in respect of its Common Core training program for First Line Underground Mine Supervisor, Underground Hard Rock Mining, and Soft Rock Mining. A table detailing training programs is also included in the Regulations to provide easy reference and guidance.
2. Vehicle Safety: Amendments to brake requirements for motor vehicles and adoption of brake systems standards for both surface and underground vehicles.
The amendments will also implement new requirements for underground motor vehicle safety and use of overhead protective equipment to protect workers from falling debris.
3. Underground Storage and Transportation of Explosives:
Amendments to update references to the federal standard for storing explosives; new requirement that all explosives be listed on a plan that is kept onsite; specification of the location of all underground explosives; changes to revise electrical safety requirements relating to explosive storage areas; new requirement for underground motor vehicles to use a flashing red light when transporting explosives. The amendments also includes provisions for new designated parking, fire suppression systems, use of power washing to reduce risk of fire when vehicles are not in use, and new requirements for bulk explosives vehicles.
4. Elevator Safety: Adoption of standards recently set by the Canadian Standards Association.
In announcing the amendments, Minister Peters stated, "These changes will help to ensure [workers] are better trained and protected and continue to contribute to a strong economy and a healthy Ontario". With the exception of the amendments relating to training requirements, which came into effect on April 1, 2007, the remaining amendments will come into effect on October 1, 2007