Special thanks to our summer associate Keyonna Trojcak for contributing to this blog.
On July 1, 2023, Ontario implemented a number of amendments to Regulation 854 – Mines and Mining Plants under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Effective September 1, 2023, additional requirements will take effect.
The Regulation has and will create many new safety obligations for employers in Ontario’s mining industry, and will increase the requirements for safety policies and procedures in mining operations across Ontario. You can find the newest version of the Regulation with all of the changes here.
Summary of Key Changes Effective July 1, 2023
- Flammable Hazards: Oil, grease and flammable liquids must be stored or transported in metal containers, receptacles or portable containers or safety cans that are government-approved when being used underground.
- Ladderways: Where a worker could fall more than three meters, a ladderway should be fixed in place with a safety cage and a protective device to prevent the worker from falling. Furthermore, if a ladderway is seven meters or longer and at an angle step greater than 70 degrees, the ladderway needs to have platforms at intervals not greater than seven meters.
- Mine Design: Mine designs must now be prepared under the direction of an engineer, instead of a “competent person.” Mine designs will also be required to describe both the geology and geotechnical aspects of the mine.
- Power Sources: Independently powered conveyances used instead of a ladderway must have a source of power that is independent of the main power source of the mine, and must be capable of safely transferring persons through the shaft to a location they can use to safely exit the shaft. These must be readily available for use.