Archives for January 2013

WSIB Coverage Benefits

As of January 1 2013, in Ontario, Workplace Safety Insurance Board coverage is required by law, Bill 119, for almost all people working in the construction sector. For the first time, that includes business owners, who likely have private insurance. Now these independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership and executive officers without workers (general contractors) need WSIB coverage as well and it’s much more comprehensive than any private insurance.

WSIB coverage provides benefits that private insurance often does not. With the WSIB, coverage provides:

Job Safety Seton WSIB

In addition, those covered by the WSIB are part of the health and safety prevention system, and the corresponding educational and training supports provided to the construction sector by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association. WSIB coverage will allow you to benefit from these services.

Construction Safety Inspection Blitzes

Job Safety Blitz

Slip, trips and falls on level surfaces and falls from heights, particularly in construction, remain the number one cause of critical injuries and fatalities, when the rates of other types of workplace injuries are decreasing more quickly.

In 2011, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board approved 11,733 compensation claims for lost-time injuries due to incidents in which workers fell while at work. Same level falls resulting from slips and trips account for 65% of all fall-related injuries. Falls from heights account for 34% of fall-related injuries – and many of the work-related deaths that occur in Ontario.

“These workers deserve to be protected from these potential hazards in the workplace,” says Robert W. Landry, provincial Construction Health and Safety specialist with the Occupational Health and Safety Branch of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour.

During February and March, Ontario’s Safe at Work program is stepping up its workplace safety, prevention and enforcement strategy with Inspection Blitzes focusing on the hazards and risks involving slips, trips and falls, and ladder use in the construction and industrial sectors.

“This inspection campaign is to reduce overall lost-time workplace injuries and accidents. It’s an enforcement strategy, a prevention strategy. These fall rates seem to be constant and we’re struggling with that,” Landry says.

Ministry inspectors will randomly visit construction projects that are doing high-risk work and with histories of non-compliance to check that employers, supervisors and workers are complying with Ontario Health and Safety Act requirements and regulations.

Workers can be at risk of falling due to:

  • Poor lighting, slippery surfaces, inadequate “housekeeping” (a messy, cluttered work area) and other such deficient working conditions
  • Missing protective devices (e.g., guardrails)
  • Unguarded openings in floors, work surfaces or walls of buildings or other structures
  • Misused equipment or equipment in poor condition (e.g., ladders, scaffolds, and suspended access equipment)
  • Lack of appropriate personal protective equipment (equipment not available, not used, or misused)
  • Poor work practices (e.g., unclear job procedures, lack of training, or workers rushing to meet deadlines)

Inspectors will be looking for “any evidence of lack of traction” between footwear and surfaces – wet floors, puddles, and oily or icy surfaces. Construction workers must wear suitable CSA-approved footwear – boots, not shoes, which should be “slip-resistant, not worn, not defective, and properly fitting,” Landry says. “Laces should be tied securely, because if they’re not tied, footwear could fall off, or workers could trip. Most important, these boots must be worn at all times on a construction project.”

These inspections, which can take up to two days, go into considerable depth, Landry says. “We know the non-compliant sites and workplaces and our inspectors will want specifics.”

On site, ministry inspectors ask to meet with Project Supervisors, Health and Safety Supervisors, and health and safety worker representatives. They will check minutes of health and safety meetings; ask about fall accidents and how they were addressed.

Inspectors will also be checking to make sure employers are providing safe and appropriate equipment for their workers, as well as safety training, supervision and instruction materials to protect their workers’ health and safety on the job.

In order to check a worker’s safety competency, inspectors may ask them to demonstrate their knowledge on:

  • How to recognize, assess, and control fall hazards
  • The application of the right controls, including effective fall prevention and fall protection methods (Employers must also provide hands-on training that is equipment- and application-specific.)
  • Proficiency in the safe and proper use of personal fall prevention and fall protection systems and their components – travel restraint, fall restricting, fall arrest systems or safety nets. Workers must be competent and have the skills and expertise to select, inspect, set-up, and use appropriate fall prevention and fall protection systems
  • How to work at heights safely and in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulatory requirements
  • Access equipment: safe use of ladders, scaffolds, elevating work platforms, and suspended access equipment.

Ladder safety, in particular, poses significant fall hazards in construction, Landry says.

“There have been a high number of incidents, where workers were critically injured or killed in falls from ladders,” Landry says.

In the five-year period from 2006 to May 2010, there were 396 fall incidents causing critical injuries and 127 of those were from ladders – 32 per cent of these accidents were caused by the unsafe use of ladders.

During that same period of time, there were 83 fatalities and 10 were from the unsafe use of ladders.

“We’ve worked with industry representatives and our partners at the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association to develop a Ladder Use in Construction Guideline,” Landry says. “This guideline was prepared to assist workplace parties in understanding their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Construction Regulation. The Ministry of Labour views the guideline as a set of industry practices that when implemented as part of a constructor/employer’s health and safety program will help in reducing workplace accidents involving ladders.”

In cases of non-compliance, Ministry of Labour Inspectors will be issuing tickets on the spot during this enforcement campaign. These tickets, for a variety of offences, range from $195 for failing to wear protective footwear to $295 failing to wear a full body harness connected to fall arrest system while on suspended equipment.

“During this blitz, we want the message to be to get your safety plans in order, get your managers and supervisors on site up to speed,” Landry says. “Because falls are one of the leading causes of death and injury, our inspectors are always enforcing fall protection. Sometimes people cut corners for production, but you don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.”

WSIB Rule Changes: Addressing Your Concerns

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Our November story on the new Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) changes for the construction industry elicited a lot of comments, questions and concerns about the impending changes.  And we wanted to address them.

Despite these concerns, according to the Ministry of Labour senior communications advisor Bill Killorn, this new regulation, Bill 119, is about improving health and safety in the construction industry and reducing underground economic activity.

“We heard from stakeholders that the underground economy puts businesses that play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage,” he says. “With this legislation, Ontario will be better equipped to prevent workplace accidents and diseases.”

One reader asked: If the sole owner of a small limited company that does not employ workers is now required to pay dividends, is he now eligible to collect insurance if injured on a commercial site?

“Yes,” says Christine Arnott, WSIB spokesperson. “Once someone is registered with the WSIB, if they do get injured at work, they will have access to the broad range of benefits and services that the WSIB provides.”

  • Wage loss benefits start the day after the injury
  • Benefits include Loss of Retirement Income paid to injured workers from age 65
  • All necessary and appropriate health care costs are covered
  • Work reintegration and retraining services are available if needed
  • Special allowances are paid to severely impaired workers including an Independent Living Allowance
  • Survivor benefits can include lump sum and monthly awards for spouses and dependent children plus all reasonable expenses for funeral and burial services
  • Access to construction-specific workplace health and safety training programs, products and services from Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)

Another reader commented about private insurance compared to WSIB coverage: If they (WSIB) make it mandatory that we pay, I’m sure a good lawyer will be sure to make it mandatory that they pay. I have private policy that is way better and far less expensive.

“Cost of coverage will vary from company to company,” Arnott says.“The important thing is that we will be providing valuable workplace coverage for people in the construction industry.

“If business owners do get injured at work, they will have access to the broad range of benefits and services that the WSIB provides (listed above). We can’t speculate on the coverage that private insurers might provide or their rates.

Even if independent operators, sole proprietors, members of partnerships and executive officers of corporations already have private insurance, this new legislation, Bill 119, requires that they also have WSIB coverage.

“Private coverage does not replace this legal requirement for WSIB coverage,” Arnott states.

“The WSIB provides a competitive, but different no-fault insurance product that protects you from costly lawsuits and has predictable rates, tax-deductible premiums and reliable benefits. Benefits paid by the WSIB can be more comprehensive and cover a broader range of services than those included in most private insurance policies.”

For answers to your questions about the new mandatory WSIB coverage for construction, check out this FAQ page.

“WSIB coverage provides benefits that private insurance often does not,” Killorn says.

“Originally, this law, Bill 119, was introduced in 2008 and we’ve been working with the industry since then, doing calculations on this proposed legislation,” Killorn said.

“At the end of the day, it’s about protecting workers in the construction industry. We wanted everyone to be covered by the WSIB. It’s about keeping workers safe, and heaven forbid, if an accident should happen, they are covered by the WSIB.”

 

 

 

 

 

Realistic Indicators of Workplace Safety

Seton Canada

Accurately measuring workplace safety may seem easy, but it’s not. Time-loss injury rates and the number of accidents and fatalities during a specific period is an industry standard for measuring safety – with zero as the ultimate goal. In fact, WorkSafe Saskatchewan has set its sights on zero injuries and fatalities with an aggressive “Mission Zero” campaign for workplace safety.

But, is this the best, most realistic indicator of workplace safety?

On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and injured 17 others.

Yet, prior to this disaster – the largest spill in petroleum history – BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig operated for seven years without a single time-lost incident or major environmental event, according to Judy Agnew, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Safety Solutions at Aubrey Daniels International in her latest book Safe By Accident? Take the Luck out of Safety, Leadership Practices that Build Sustainable Safety Culture.

“Looking backwards at how many people have been hurt and lost time injury rates doesn’t tell us what people are doing to prevent accidents” now and in the future,” she says. “When a company has a zero incident rate, it gives the impression that everything is under control and safety’s just fine, so what happens is people can focus on other things.”

Agnew calls these statistics “lagging” indicators, measurements of what went wrong. She stresses that they are not only a poor measure of workplace safety; they’re “the root cause” for many of these injuries and accidents.

Do you want to gamble on the safety of your workers and your workplace waiting for an accident to happen to address safety problems in your workplace? Doesn’t it make more sense to prevent those injuries and accidents before they happen by using more realistic or “leading” indicators instead of “lagging” indicators?

“Such measures – lagging indicators – tell us how many people got hurt and how badly, but they do not tell us how well a company is doing at preventing accidents and incidents,” Agnew says. “Incident rates can get better or worse with absolutely no change in safety conditions at work.”

Zero Time Loss Injuries

Aiming at zero time-loss injuries is completely unrealistic and in safety management achieving those goals doesn’t prove anything, according to Alan D. Quilley, CRSP, Alberta safety consultant and author of several books including The Emperor Wears No Hard Hat. “

“Even if zero harm is accomplished for a measurable period of time, it doesn’t offer prove that people accomplishing it have done their work safely,” he says.

Quilley has a problem with absolutes like “zero” or “perfection” because, he says, no one is perfect and “nothing in human experience has proven us to be perfect performers at anything. Humans make mistakes.” It’s part of our nature. It’s how we learn and grow, he says.

“Misusing injury data to demonstrate the existence of safety,” Quilley says, “is akin to claiming that because you go to a general practitioner every year, you will be healthy – and not being sick all year is proof of that.”

Traditionally, in safety management, there’s this link between lack of injury and safety goals. “Zero injuries at any time period does not prove anything, except that you haven’t had any injuries,” Quilley says.

“There is no such thing as a perfect measure of safety, so don’t waste time trying to find or create one,” Agnew states. Instead, develop good ways to create “leading” indicators for workplace safety that can signal and prevent future events. Here are a few of her guidelines.

“Leading” indicators should:

a)    Allow you to see small improvements in performance
b)    Measure the positive: what people are doing versus failing to do
c)    Make it clear what needs to be done to get better
d)    Increase constructive problem solving around safety
e)    Provide frequent feedback. Feedback should help workers get better, not just be information. Let performers know how they are doing daily and weekly so they can see the impact of their improvements

 

 

Workplace Safety: First Aid and CPR Training

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The odds of somebody dying or being severely injured on your jobsite decrease with every person who knows first aid. How much? You could reduce the chance of death and the severity of someone’s injury by as much as 50%.

And the chances of surviving a heart attack are four times greater if someone on your jobsite knows CPR.  If your worksite has a defibrillator, survival rates improve by 75%.

For every minute that ticks by without help, chances of survival drop by 7 – 11%.

In these life or death situations, time is of the essence. Even something like the distance between the injured or ill person to the nearest trained individual and the proximity to the closest First Aid facilities can determine whether a worker will be going home that night – or at all.

This is why First Aid & CPR training is mandatory for employees in the workplace.   It’s also why it’s mandated that no First Aid station should be more than 2 minutes away from anyone at any time. And it’s why all employees need to know where every station is located.

It’s particularly important in construction, where outdoor jobsites are often poorly marked, increasing EMS response times and decreasing an injured worker’s chance for survival.  In Toronto it takes about 8.56 minutes for an Ambulance to arrive, in Manitoba, it’s 15 minutes in urban centres – and that is for a well-marked location.

Something as simple as clear, effective outdoor sign identifying a jobsite could literally be a lifesaver.

Between 2008-2010 there were 700 recorded deaths in Canada’s construction industry. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Board of Canada (AWCBC) that accounts for 23.3% of all workplace fatalities in Canada.

No matter how many safety precautions are in place, accidents are bound to happen. In 2012, there were 31,042 workplace injuries sustained by workers at Canadian construction sites. That roughly works out to about 24.5 injuries for every 1000 employees.

The WSIB provides invaluable information on First Aid Requirements.

Studies show that First Aid training in conjunction with workplace safety training has the potential to result in a 20% drop in onsite injuries. A reduction in injured workers brings with it an increased confidence among your team and better productivity.

And then there’s the economic burden due to workplace slip and fall accidents. The cost to Canadians was over $6 million dollars in health care and social services. That doesn’t include the additional costs employers have to pay in order to recover from the loss of an injured worker such as retraining temporary workers, repairing any onsite damage, paying fines, reeling from a loss of productivity or increased premiums.

To protect yourself and your workers:

  • know the federal and provincial requirements for onsite First Aid. Make First Aid Training apart of standard safety training and keep a list of all trained workers and their certification expiry on hand.
  • encourage all employees to download a First Aid app on their mobile devices for instant information on how to handle emergencies.
  • make sure your jobsite is well marked with clear and appropriate signage so that EMS can find it when you need them to.

Remember, in an emergency there’s no time to waste. Equipping your employees with the First Aid materials and training they need may well save a life and protect workers – and the company – from terrible loss and pain.

 

 

Tips On Improving Safety Harness Compliance

Seton Canada

Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in Canada, in time lost and deaths due to on-the-job mishaps.

Canada’s construction sector has seen sharp declines in lost-time injuries since the 1960s. But falls continue to be problematic and costly.

Traumatic falls account for the lion’s share of those catastrophic construction accidents. In 2009, falls accounted for 63% of all worksite fatalities in construction.  And while construction safety experts work to create environments that are safer all-around, it is fall prevention that dogs their best efforts.

“Injuries due to falls are not dropping at the same rate as other injuries,” says Enzo Garritano, vice-president technical services for Ontario’s Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). “And that really says something.”

Fall-related injuries are the costliest to manage, notes Garritano. “Fractures, lower back injuries and shoulder injuries are the main area of concern. These, above everything else, cost the industry a lot of money.”

Statistics fail to differentiate between fall types – an accident where safety harness use would have been useful, versus falls resulting from a floor opening up or tumbling through a missing guard rail tend to be counted together.

Still experts agree that getting workers to be more vigilant about wearing safety harnesses for fall prevention would go a long way towards reducing injuries…

Reinforcing rules around wearing safety harnesses is a big issue in construction – as employers search for answers to creating the kind of work environment that fosters safe behavior at all costs.

Experts estimate, between 80 and 90 per cent of all accidents are attributable to ‘human factors’. But if workers are not vigilant about suiting up in safety harnesses, prior to going above ground, what is an employer to do?

Managers who face truculence and avoidance of harnesses have to confront several realities that may be contributing to reluctance.

  • Is the equipment provided adequate and comfortable? Is it CSA-approved? Is it personally fitted to each employee?
  • Are there consequences for non-compliance? Some owners/managers have taken to sending workers home on-the-spot for non-compliance; others to writing health and safety certification into contracts.
  • What is the workplace safety “culture”? A job site that emphasizes getting the job done at any cost is more accident-prone.
  •  Safer sites work on building up productivity gradually with an eye towards arriving home safely every night.
  • Are managers leading by example and automatically donning their own PPE on the job site?
  • Are managers made aware of the costs of non-compliance, in terms of fines large enough to matter, replacement of injured workers and retraining, impact on insurance rates and damaged equipment?
  • Is standard government health and safety certification, such as the Canada-wide COR (Certificate of Recognition) written into contracts?

“It can be difficult sometimes to identify situations where fall protection equipment is necessary,” says Dave Rebbitt, Corporate Health and Safety Manager for VOICE Construction, which operates in the Alberta oil sands. “Some companies request workers wear their gear at three feet, whereas regulations set the lower limit at ten feet.”

The biggest excuse for not wearing safety harnesses, says Rebbitt, Is expediency. “A worker will say, well I’m only going to be up there for a few seconds. But there are examples of workers being killed in falls from three feet in the air.”

And then there are workers who say “I’ve been doing this for so many years and haven’t had an accident yet.”

Fall protection can be expensive. But skimping on costs of safety harnesses is shortsighted. Rebbitt points to a line of counterfeited made-in-China safety harnesses that some employers unwittingly purchased. “The claim was that they were CSA-approved, although they certainly were not. They were cheap, didn’t last as long and were not as safe.”

“The financial investment in training workers to use their safety harness pays off,” he says. “By training people in fall protection, you’re telling them that they are more qualified, specialized employees and therefore more valuable.”

“The carrot always works better than the stick,” he adds

Garritano agrees. “Motivating workers is top-down. You have to look at the commitment from a manager who oversees the worksite. If the message is get the job done at any cost, guys are going to be hanging by their fingertips. If you say, look, we want you to go home at the end of the day, you’re going to build up on your productivity over a long period of time, then you are adopting a long-term approach.

“It is a systemic approach, working with the Ministry of Labour, owners, contractors and the unions to make it clear that it is not acceptable to compromise the safety of your workers. “

To that end, the IHSA recently launched a poster campaign entitled “Keep Your Promise”, reminding workers that “returning home safe to your loved ones is a promise you make every day.” http://www.ihsa.ca/news_events/index.cfm

“We want to remind workers who they really are working for,” says Garritano. People should be aiming to go home at night, thinking about who is there, depending on them.”

 

 

 

Workplace Compliance: 9 Key Points

Compliance isn’t as easy as seems. It involves increased awareness of requirements, enforcement, training and, most of all, attitude. If your workers think about safety 24/7, they’re better equipped to make sound safe choices on the job, on the way to and from work, and at home.  Here are nine key points to keep in mind…

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9 Ways To Keep Workplace Compliance In Check

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It’s so easy to let good safety practices slide. Like anything else, reminders are always helpful and even the most well established workplace safety practices can benefit from them. So, at the beginning of this New Year, here’s a workplace safety primer to help you keep compliance in check and decrease workplace injuries and fatalities.

1. Safety Management By Walking

Every day, spend a few minutes walking through the areas you supervise and create a checklist to ensure you pinpoint any potential hazards or concerns. Keep an eye on your workers as they work. Make sure they’re wearing the right PPE for the job and following safety procedures.

2. Do Frequent Job Safety Assessments

You know each job in your department so well you can spot every potential hazard. If a different, better method will eliminate that hazard, then introduce it and offer training. If PPE is required, make sure it’s readily available. Have a list of safety requirements and be sure they’re followed.

For example, Slips, trips, and falls hazards at the entrances of construction sites, like rough, uneven ground and icy or muddy surfaces are the second most common area of non-compliance. Be sure to have good fall protection plans in place to prevent incidents.

3. Keep The Safety Conversation Going

At every opportunity you can, talk about safety with your colleagues and workers. Make sure you’re up to date on any new safety information and strategies that affect your workers and your workplace.

4.  Problem Solve With Teamwork

Create Safety Teams for solving potential workplace problems. The team members can gather information, analyse possible causes of safety problems, develop and test solutions. They can also implement strategies and monitor results. Working on a Safety Team makes workers feel they’re sharing responsibility for workplace safety for everyone. The added advantage is that it’s a great way to build good company morale. When other workers see what’s going on, they’ll want to join. Teamwork works well in all departments in a company or corporation, not just on construction sites or in mines.

5. What Shape Are Your Workers In?

Be aware of the physical health and conditions of your workers. Out of shape workers or workers returning to work following injuries or with disabilities may not be up to performing their regular jobs. They may need to be temporarily accommodated and reassigned different, less taxing and safer work. Monitor fatigue and illness in your workers – it can affect performance and put them and others at risk.

6. Monitor Changing Attitudes and Behaviours

You’ve all heard this: “Safety is our number one priority.” But when deadlines loom, safety tends to fall back to number two. It’s easy to get careless and take risks. Motivating workers to have safe attitudes consistently can make a significant difference in terms of injuries and fatalities. Safety must be central to a company’s culture, policies, activities, and core values.

“It’s important to have the process be habitual,” stresses Alberta Safety consultant and author Alan D. Quilley, CRSP. The process, the task, needs to happen, not randomly, but safely every time, like buckling up your seatbelt.

7. The Distractions of Technology on the Job

The distractions of listening to music, talking and texting on cell phones while operating heavy equipment and doing other safety sensitive jobs can be disastrous.

Cell phones cause two kinds of risks: distractions and entanglements. According to the HRInsider.ca, Canada’s Online Guide to HR Compliance and Management, in New Brunswick recently, “a road construction worker talking on his cell phone was so distracted that he stepped in front of a half-ton truck.”

Entanglements, like jewellery, are often banned in certain industrial workplaces. Cell phones can get entangled in machinery or interfere with the proper use of PPE.

Occupational Health and Safety legislation hasn’t addressed these newer technologies yet, with the exception of Alberta, where cell phone use is restricted in one small industrial sector – near electronic detonators in blasting operations. That means it’s up to you to recognize the hazards cell phones pose and not leave it up to chance.

8. Reward Safe Behaviours

Everybody wants recognition and approval for a job well done. When it comes to building a safe and compliant workforce, nothing succeeds like success and feeling rewarded for a job well done with positive feedback fills the bill. Tell workers who are following sound and safe work practices that you’re pleased with their work and that their attention to safety is of great value to your company.

9. Make Time To Listen

Be accessible to your workers and be sure they know you are there to answer their questions and listen to their concerns. Focus on them when they come to see you. During Safety Talks encourage your workers to ask questions and let them know your “door is open,” if they want to see you privately.

Alan Quilley has a great way of summing up how crucial safety and compliance are on the job. It’s all about personal responsibility.

“The best safety device I know of is to care about each other,” he says. “If you see something creating a risk or someone taking a risk that they don’t have to take, then intervene. I’m really just suggesting that you don’t walk by and expect that ‘someone’ else will do something about a problem.”

Have a safe new year.

 

Mining Safety Blitz Aims To Clear The Air

Mining Safety

Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors will launch a safety blitz in underground mines across the provinces focusing on new ventilation and air quality rules in January 2013.

The issue is the operation of diesel equipment in underground mines and the long term health effects of exhaust with new regulations following a trend to lower levels C02 being permissible and keeping Ontario at the cutting edge of mining standards.

“New regulations came into effect Jan. 2012 and so we’re going to check compliance,” said Glenn Staskus, a provincial mining specialist in the MOL mining program.

The MOL is concerned with “low ventilation volumes resulting from the inadequate supply and maintenance of mechanical ventilation systems.”

About 35 underground mines will be targeted over January and February.

Inspectors will also check that diesel equipment used for underground transportation of workers, materials and blasting of rock is being maintained as prescribed.

“The new regulations lower the exposure limits for levels for carbon monoxide and total carbon particulate,” he said. “And part of the change requires developing a testing measure protocol in conjunction with each Health and Safety Committee at each mine.”

Inspectors will be looking to see that testing protocols are in place, that they’ve been implemented after discussions with Health and Safety representatives and that both the tail pipe emissions and ambient air quality have been tested and tracked to ensure they conform to minimum standards.

While particulate traps aren’t required on diesel powered mining equipment, tail pipe emission must be no more than 600 ppm by volume of carbon monoxide down dramatically from the previous standard of 1,500 ppm.

The rules require “regular testing” of tail pipe emissions which is defined as “in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations” said Staskus adding that ambient air must be tested and recorded for both carbon and dust.

In areas where diesel equipment is in operation, air flow must be at least 0.06 cubic metres per second for each kilowatt of power the machinery generates.

“They also have to test ambient air to ensure that total carbon is no more than 0.4 milligrams per cubic metre of air,” he said.

The latter is a new regulation in addition to air-dust levels which must also conform to standards.

“There’s a long term concern about exposure to diesel exhaust so they’ve added carbon levels too,” he said.

Inspectors will blitz underground mining workplaces across Ontario.

They will check that workplace parties are complying with recent amendments to diesel provisions of the Regulation for Mines and Mining Plants (R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 854) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Priority Areas (Source MOL)

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

  1. Committee Consultation: Inspectors will check that employers have developed and implemented testing measures and procedures for diesel equipment, in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee or health and safety representative. Section 183.2(1.1)
  1. Diesel Equipment:  Inspectors will check that equipment used for underground transportation of workers and materials is being regularly tested to meet the required limit for carbon monoxide emissions.182.(5)
  1. Workplace Air Sampling: Inspectors will check that employers are regularly testing the air in underground mines to ensure exposure to toxic airborne substances do not exceed the prescribed limits. Section 183.1(5).

Link to Regulation 854 for Mines and Mining Plants

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900854_e.htm