Blog Post #1505 – Safety Subcommittees Formed in Ontario

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Feb. 2017)

In the wake of recent amendments to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) regarding the mining sector, the provincial Mining Legislative Review Committee has formed four new subcommittees to deal with the industry’s safety hazards.

According to a January 3, 2017, statement from Workplace Safety North (WSN), a non-profit organization that provides OH&S training and resources for northern Ontario industries, these subcommittees will focus on ground control, traffic management, water management and ventilation/industrial hygiene respectively. A hoisting subcommittee that already exists will continue to function.

“The reason for the change is to allow for the Review Committee to better align its resources and efforts with the priority health and safety hazards in the Ontario mining sector,” Bob Barclay, the provincial coordinator for mining with the province’s Ministry of Labour (MOL), says in a statement. “These priority health and safety hazards were identified in the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review, which was completed in 2015.”

The Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review made 18 recommendations to improve employee safety in the mining sector. The MOL accepted all of the recommendations, which included mandatory risk assessments, mandatory water-management programs and formal traffic-management plans for mines.

With the reorganization of the subcommittees, Barclay says, the Review Committee will be more focused, enabling it to provide more information to the MOL, which is expected to result in OH&S improvements in the sector.

The subcommittee announcement came two days after a series of amendments to regulation 854/90, the section of the OHSA regarding mines and mining plants, went into effect. The January 1, 2017, changes to this Act requires employers to assess and manage safety hazards, mine owners to develop water-management programs, employers to maintain traffic management and all seismic events to be recorded.

“Risk assessments are the building blocks for successful health and safety management systems,” WSN mining director Mike Parent says about the new laws. “Due to the levels of risk water impoundment and traffic bring to a mine, it is important to conduct risk assessments, as they are essential in the development, implementation and maintenance of management programs for these hazards.”

My opinion

It is important the MOL expects to continuously improve and I applaud them for doing so.

As a OH&S trainer for Working at Heights (WAH), WAH refresher, Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), part 1, as well as many others, it is important to receive the kind of leadership and direction the MOL is giving us.

Well done!

By the way, the MOL is now known as the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD)

Still the great organization! Good people doing good work!

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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