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Labour ministry to conduct summer inspection blitzes in mining

Inspectors to raise awareness of disease


TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) announced on June 29 that it is planning a series of inspection blitzes in the province’s mining sector throughout July and August.

An MOL news release stated that the Ministry will send mining inspectors, ergonomists and engineers to mine worksites across Ontario to make sure that employers are protecting workers from hazards. The inspectors will check to see if employers are complying with occupational health and safety law, raise awareness of the hazard of exposure to contaminants in mines and mining plants and discourage unsafe work practices.

“Our government is committed to helping keep mine workers safe on the job,” Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said in a press statement. “We have conducted a comprehensive mining safety review and are currently well into the implementation of its recommendations… We must ensure all mine workers return home safe and sound at the end of each shift.”

George Gritziotis, the province’s Chief Prevention Officer, noted in a statement that miners can contract disease from a number of contaminants. “Once a disease develops, it is usually permanent or has long-lasting effects,” he said. “It is essential mine workers be properly trained for the work they perform and that controls are put in place to prevent dangerous exposure.”

Among the occupational diseases that mine workers can develop are cancer, organ damage and lung inflammation, the MOL added.