The mining sector plays a leading role in worker protection
Workers are a key resource for the mining industry, which takes every possible step to ensure their health and safety. The constant decline in the accident frequency rate shows how seriously companies are addressing this issue. The Québec Mining Association supports its members through its Health and Accident Prevention Committee , where participants discuss best practices in connection with occupational health and safety and the importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing accidents in mines.
The QMA has also set up a strategic workplace health and safety (WHS) committee. Its members include several senior managers from mines in Québec, and its objective is to target WHS excellence by defining strategies and setting goals to influence the mining industry through the validation and promotion, where applicable, of innovative projects with strong potential.
To improve the coordination of mine rescue operations, the Québec Mining Association has established the CATAMINE program to coordinate actions and the dispatch of equipment in an emergency. Each year, the QMA distributes an exhaustive list of individuals and equipment available. The CATAMINE Committee makes it easier for mines to provide each other with assistance if a major accident or disaster occurs. CATAMINE works with the mine rescue team at the CNESST, which trains volunteer rescuers, to draft the mine rescue training handbook (Manuel de formation en sauvetage minier), provide input for discussions, and support initiatives to improve underground rescue techniques and the equipment used by mine rescue teams.
Mining audit programs
To encourage mining companies to follow effective health and safety practices, the QMA has set up a Mine Audit System. Companies can request an audit of their operations in these specific areas
- Occupational health and safety management diagnosis;*
- Ground control;
- Mechanical and electrical maintenance.
After conducting a visit to the mine sites concerned, the auditors produce a report with recommendations for the site managers. The company then has 60 days to submit an action plan containing suitable corrective measures.
A management diagnosis is the measurement or evaluation of the occupational health and safety (OHS) management, system and measures taken at a specific point in time. It provides an overview of the OHS situation. The diagnostic report provides the mining company with a range of information allowing it to improve its performance in terms of occupational health and safety.
– Measure the OHS actions and procedures of the visited mine;
– Identify good management practices;
– Help the leaders and managers of the visited mining companies to improve their performance in terms of occupational health and safety.
– The diagnosis is carried out by two external auditors;
– The diagnosis takes about three days;
– The diagnosis must be based on mutual respect and listening. Highlighting good practices is just as important as identifying areas for improvement.
1. Preparation for the diagnosis (the auditors will send a document to help the mining companies carry out the diagnosis);
2. Meeting with the management team to introduce the auditors and their mandate;
3. Individual and group interviews;
4. On-field observations and discussions;
5. Presentation of the report.
– Vision and culture;
– Prevention and structure;
– Monitoring and measures.
Training for mine workers
The Québec Mining Association has established training programs to help prevent accidents, including the modular training program for mine workers, which is compulsory in underground mines. Every worker, even a service provider, has to take the training before going underground. The twelve training modules cover working at heights, ground consolidation, explosives, and health and safety regulations.
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Metrio (accident statistics, CNESST derogations, Catamine)
To access Metrio platform (accident statistics, CNESST derogations, Catamine)