Review committee appointed to keep mining safe

by Keith Powell
Miner standing underground in front of mining equipment.

The government has created a Standing Code Review Committee to ensure that mining continues to be one of the safest heavy industries in British Columbia. — Photo courtesy Dumas Mine Contracting/Myra Falls – file photo

Representatives of Indigenous communities, labour and industry are undertaking a comprehensive review of British Columbia’s Health, Safety and Reclamation Code to ensure B.C. has strong protections for health, safety and environment at mine sites.

Following a recommendation from the Mining Jobs Task Force earlier this year, the government has created a Standing Code Review Committee to ensure that mining continues to be one of the safest heavy industries in British Columbia and that provincial regulations remain current and respond to the rapid pace of change in the industry.

“Our government’s number 1 priority for this foundational industry is safety – for workers, our environment and communities,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “We’ve invested $20 million over three years to hire more inspectors on the ground and create a new independent oversight unit. The Standing Code Review Committee will help ensure that provincial mining regulations remain effective, innovative and world leading.”

Recently, Mungall appointed 12 mining professionals to the Standing Code Review Committee, which will be chaired by Al Hoffman, executive director, code review. Each member is appointed to the committee for a three-year term.

Quotes:

Dave Williams, Unifor, Myra Falls Mine, staff representative – “The first round of meetings were very enjoyable. I believe the passion and commitment from the members will have a positive outcome for our miners as well as our businesses and communities.”

Dani Miller, compliance manager, Mainland Construction Materials, industry representative – “During our first committee meeting, I saw labour, industry, Indigenous communities and government work together to make positive changes to the code. Everyone can get behind protecting people, the environment and our ability to access the basic building materials of society, and it was evident throughout.”

Nalaine Morin, principal, Arrowblade Consulting, Indigenous Communities representative – “I am pleased that the code review committee has convened, and we can build on the success of the previous code review. It is important the Indigenous perspective continues to be a large part of the revisions as we strive to do the right design for resource development in the province.”

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