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‘Failure’ in Mining Responsibility System: USW Representative

April 3, 2014

Mines safety review committee holds hearings in Sudbury

The first day of the mines safety review committee in Sudbury held Wednesday wrapped up with a suggestion from the United Steelworkers that the hearings hadn’t been publicized well enough.

The province is holding review sessions in mining communities across Ontario to look at the health and safety of workers in the mining sector.

In Sudbury, the first day of the talks heard mostly from organized labour representatives.  Much of the discussions focused on the internal responsibility system — also called the “IRS”.

The system is supposed to hold everyone accountable — right up to the president — to report health and safety violations and to problem-solve to make workplaces safer.

However, a Steelworkers representative told the hearing the system breaks down when there’s a disagreement over whether something is safe or not.

Myles Sullivan said workers may also be nervous about reporting a safety issue for fear of reprisal, and added the system didn’t work in the deaths of two men in a run of muck at Vale’s Frood-Stobie mine in 2011.

Complete article on CBC.CA

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