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Mining audit aims to boost worker safety

Mining audit aims to boost worker safety
PROVINCE OF B.C.—B.C. officials tour a copper mine. The province recently released the results of a safety audit regarding workers that operate mobile equipment near water at mines. The results prompted several changes.

VICTORIA—B.C. officials have released a new report detailing the results of an audit regarding safety for mine workers that operate mobile equipment near water.

The audit found the Ministry of Energy has regulatory requirements in place for workers operating mobile equipment near water at B.C. mines. The chief auditor also determined the ministry is inspecting mobile equipment and has developed processes, systems and tools to learn from past incidents.

The chief auditor issued three recommendations for strengthening and clarifying regulatory requirements, managing incident files and conducting outreach and education related to past incidents.

The recommendations resulted in the following actions:

–  A formal request was made to the standing code review committee to undertake a review of the code in consideration of the chief auditor’s findings and recommendations to propose revisions that will improve protection for workers operating mobile equipment near water. The committee has accepted the ministry’s request.

–  The release of a Chief Inspector’s Interim Directive will support consistent interpretation and application of the current requirements to protect workers on mine sites.

– There will be a review of the internal process for managing incident reporting and updates as necessary.

– The clarification of the purpose of health and safety education and outreach tools, and when each is to be used and distributed, will increase awareness of emerging safety concerns.

The audit report and the ministry’s response and action plan are available on the Mine Audits Unit’s website:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/mineral-exploration-mining/mine-audits-unit

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