In October and November 2013, mining inspectors and engineers conducted an enforcement blitz to check for ground control hazards in excavated rock areas in underground mines across Ontario. Ground control generally involves a variety of engineering and operational measures to control, monitor and prevent falls of ground and rockbursts.
In a release, the ministry said inspectors made 53 field visits and visited 31 workplaces during the blitz. During that time, they issued 154 orders and 23 stop-work orders.
Of the orders, the most common was failure to comply with the requirement to examine workplace ground conditions.
Other orders included: failure to comply with the requirement to maintain a mine design that assesses the ground stability of active and proposed workings of a mine; failure to comply with the requirement to develop a program to provide for the communication of information between workers and supervisors with respect to ground stability; and failure to comply with the requirement to develop a quality control program to ensure ground support systems specified in mine design are properly installed and remain effective while in use.
The ministry is planning on a follow-up blitz on ground control in 2014.