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Ministry of Labour l Fact Sheet #35 l June 2012

Safe mining in pits and quarries

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) enforces and promotes awareness of safety

measures to improve the safety of workers at surface mines across Ontario.
Significant hazards exist at surface mines. These include hazards involving:

material handling by mobile equipment operators and

pedestrian interaction with trucks and other vehicles used in mining operations
Since 2000, 10 workers have died in pits and quarries in Ontario. Two of them were in incidents
involving rock crushing, screening and conveying processes. During the same period, 61 workers
were seriously injured in pits and quarries. Four workers were in incidents involving rock crushing,
screening and conveying processes.

Some general duties of workplace parties

Employers are required to provide information, instruction and supervision to workers at surface
mines to protect their health and safety.
To comply, seasonally-operated surface mines usually arrange safety meetings and refresher training
for returning workers at the beginning of season.
Employers must also:

take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers
ensure workers meet minimum age requirements
ensure equipment, materials and protective devices are well maintained and used as
per manufacturers instructions

ensure workers are provided with appropriate supervision and personal protective equipment
prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy, and
develop and maintain a program to implement that policy

post a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), as well as the name and
phone number of the MOL inspector for the district, prominently in the workplace

The following are examples of additional employers duties from the Regulation for Mines and
Mining Plants under the OHSA:

advise contract truck drivers on traffic control procedures and policies at the workplace
ensure all workers receive appropriate training, including site orientation and, the

Surface Miner Common Core, and Generic Supervisor Common Core courses depending
on their duties

The following are some examples of supervisors duties under the OHSA:

ensure workers are trained for the work they do

ensure workers comply with the OHSA and its regulations
ensure any equipment, protective device or clothing required by the employer is
used or worn by workers

advise workers of potential or actual hazards known by the supervisor

if prescribed, provide workers with written instructions on measures and procedures
to be taken for their protection, including vehicle operation, traffic control and lock
and tag, as required

take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of workers
The following are some examples of workers duties under the OHSA:

work in compliance with the OHSA and its regulations

use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the employer requires
to be used or worn;

report workplace hazards or OHSA contraventions to their supervisor or employer

Protecting workers
It is the responsibility of all workplace parties to comply with the OHSA and its regulations.
For more information on legal responsibilities, see

Health and safety considerations and best practices

Workplace parties are required to take measures to address common vehicle hazards at
surface mines, including:

improper mounting and dismounting of vehicles

collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and rollovers
improper traffic controls
improperly maintained haulage vehicles
lack of proper loading and dumping procedures
improperly maintained haulage roads
overloaded haulage vehicles and improperly secured loads
contact with power lines
working from heights
excessively steep or narrow haulage roads
lack of dust control

Ministry of Labour l Fact Sheet #35 l June 2012

Further information on pit and quarry safety:

Ontario Ministry of Labour Mining Safety


Workplace Safety North


Infrastructure Health and Safety Association


Toll-free Number
Call 1-877-202-0008 any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals. Call between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Monday to Friday for general inquiries about workplace health and safety. Always call 911 in an emergency.
Note: This fact sheet has been prepared to help workplace parties understand some of their obligations under
the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace
the OHSA or the regulations. For more information, see http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/hs_disclaimer.php

Ministry of Labour l Fact Sheet #35 l June 2012