Ontario summer safety blitz targets explosives at mines

Ontario has launched a two-month, province-wide safety blitz targeting the use of explosives in mines.
In July and August, inspectors will visit underground and surface mines, as well as quarries. They will check that the mines have proper procedures in place to keep workers safe while using, handling and storing explosives.

“Hazards involving explosives used in mines can result in serious injuries as well as damage to property," said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer. "The goal of the blitz is to raise awareness of these hazards and encourage the industry to comply with the law."

Mining inspectors will also ensure employers are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act by confirming:

• explosives storage areas are constructed in compliance with legislated requirements
• measures are in place to control inventories of explosive products?• adequate written procedures exist for the disposal of damaged explosives
?• workers are trained on safe handling procedures of explosives
• processes exist for submitting notices of any defective explosives to the Ministry of Labour.

Ontario has about 40 underground mines and hundreds of surface mines and quarries that employ about 25,000 workers. Most of these mines use explosives to blast rock into manageable sizes for processing.