Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Consults on Proposed OHSA Regulatory Amendments for Mining Industry
Date: August 3, 2021
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (Ministry) has launched a consultation with respect to proposed amendments to regulatory requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that apply to mines and mining plants.
The proposed amendments aim to “increase flexibility, better reflect current technology, and reduce the regulatory burden” currently set out under Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants). Among other things, they include:
- amending ventilation and diesel-powered equipment requirements to increase flexibility in light of new technological developments
- requiring employers (at mines and mining plants) to develop and maintain an airborne hazard management program
- requiring mine owners or mining plants to develop a written “management of change procedure”
- increasing requirements with respect to eye washer facilities, emergency showers and antidotes, flushing fluids or washes, in circumstances where a worker is required to work with, or is likely to be exposed to, a hazardous biological or chemical agent that could cause injury
- requiring mine owners to “address issues” with respect to security measures in place regarding explosives, namely controlled storage, inventory and access to explosives
- updating requirements with respect to the supervision of workplace examinations and the use of new technology to conduct such examinations
- updating section 64 of the OHSA (record of not yet remedied identified hazards or danger) to apply to surface mines and mining plants (as opposed to underground mines only).
The stated main purpose of the present Regulatory Impact Analysis is to identify and assess the potential benefits and costs associated with these proposed amendments. Full details of the proposals can be found in the Ministry’s consultation paper.
The Ministry is seeking feedback and comments from interested stakeholders on the following issues:
We would be particularly interested in receiving information about whether or not you agree with our assessment, as set out above, or how you think the proposed amendments would impact costs associated with: capital for equipment; training and education; maintenance of new or previously owned equipment; labour; record keeping and reporting; other operating costs; and, other administrative costs.
Feedback is requested by September 15, 2021.