Workplace Safety North (WSN) expects to host up to 500 online attendees at its annual Mining Health and Safety Conference on April 27, and the lineup of speakers has been announced.
The free online that runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET event brings together Ontario’s mining industry to share knowledge and innovations regarding safety programs and hazards specific to mining, and will touch on the topics of work-life balance, confined space rescue, and mental health.
Themed “Unearthing the way forward,” the conference features popular speaker and researcher Dr. Linda Duxbury who will talk about how employees and companies can move forward post-pandemic in terms of work-life balance and organizational culture.
Back by popular demand, Dr. Linda Duxbury is Canada’s most accomplished researcher, writer, and speaker on employee well-being and mental health as well as work-life balance. Dr. Duxbury has written several papers, articles, and books, and is the co-author of a series of Health Canada reports about work-life balance within the country. Recently, Dr. Duxbury has been examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees and companies, with a particular focus on mental health and well-being, and how companies can address this moving forward.
Ontario Mine Rescue Officer Danny Taillefer will discuss the challenges of the Vale Totten Mine evacuation of 39 miners last year when the mine experienced an unplanned event in the main shaft travelway that prevented access into and exit from the mine workings. Over the course of three days Vale and Ontario Mine Rescue conducted an operation sending mine rescue volunteers into the mine to set-up and execute a safe evacuation of the mine via the secondary egress ladderways. This presentation will review the events, challenges, and solutions as experienced by those working underground to ensure all mine workers returned home safely to their families.
During the trade show and health breaks, attendees are invited to visit exhibitors at the Information Exchange Trade Show and network with colleagues.
“This year, the Ontario government announced funding for the development and delivery of Workplace Safety North’s mental health training and resources for mining and forestry workers,” said Paul Andre, WSN President and CEO. “Based on the effects of the pandemic on mental health in the workplace and at home, workplace mental health has moved to the forefront of Ontario workplace safety. People are dealing with prolonged anxiety, depression, isolation, and need information and reinforcement on healthy ways to cope. So, this year, the conference focuses on mental health including work-life balance, the post-pandemic workplace, and an industry mental health panel, ‘Below the Surface.’
“Mining is a vital and technically demanding industry,” says Andre. “WSN has mining health and safety specialists and mine rescue officers across Ontario, providing expertise in mine ventilation, ground control, electrical-mechanical safety, as well as rescue and recovery operations. WSN also helps mining companies assess health and safety risks to meet legislative requirements.
“We’d also like to thank our many sponsors, including keynote sponsor A.J. Stone Company; platinum sponsors Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers and Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations; gold sponsors Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, Electrical Safety Authority, and Provix,” says Andre. “As a non-profit, WSN really appreciates the industry support.”
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