By enacting new regulations to reduce exposure to harmful diesel exhaust and improve ventilation requirements in underground mines to the most protective levels in North America, the Ontario government is working for the province’s 29,000 miners. For miners, prolonged exposure to diesel exhaust may be a significant risk factor for lung cancer.
Minister of Labor, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development Monte McNaughton stated, “Miners have been the backbone of Ontario’s economy for generations, and we owe it to them and their families to do more to keep them safe.” I’m proud that our changes today will save lives because these everyday heroes are crucial to the future of our great province.
In addition, the government is making changes to increase safety by allowing track-mounted robots to be used in mines. An operator will be in charge of these specialized machines that have a high-definition camera. They will be used to find loose rocks, explosives that didn’t go off, and other safety hazards while keeping workers safe.
“I come from a pleased mining family and guarding laborers has forever been a main concern, yet we can improve,” said George Pirie, Priest of Mines. ” We must attract the best and brightest to work in this exciting sector as our government supports the construction of additional mines. These changes convey the message that mining careers in Ontario are secure and rewarding.
These amendments follow recommendations from the Mining Health, Safety, and Prevention Review and recent coroner’s inquests and respond to calls from unions for a reduction in the amount of diesel particulate miners can be exposed to underground.
The modifications build on the government’s ground-breaking initiatives in the Working for Workers Act of 2023, which include fines for withholding passports, improved protections for remote workers during mass terminations, and job-protected leave for military reservists. Additionally, they expand cancer coverage for firefighters and build on recent regulatory amendments that mandate women’s-only restrooms on construction sites.
The Ontario government is contributing to the development of the province’s robust critical minerals sector. Ontario is connecting critical minerals in Northern Ontario’s economic potential to the world-class manufacturing capabilities in Southern Ontario through investments and support. The province has a lot of opportunities to find important minerals that will help the economy grow in the future. Products that the people of Ontario rely on, such as cell phones, electric vehicles (EVs), and the semiconductors in a wide variety of products, are dependent on these essential resources.