Speakers announced for Mining Health and Safety Conference

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Early-bird pricing: Register by Feb. 28 and save $50

Ted Hanley presents at Mining Health and Safety ConferenceThe 21st annual Mining Health and Safety Conference hosted by Workplace Safety North will be held April 9 to 11 in Sudbury. Themed “Preparing for high-risk emergencies in mines,” this year's conference celebrates the 90-year anniversary of Ontario Mine Rescue. 

The conference, which typically sells out each year, features a variety of health and safety keynote speakers, as well as an industry panel discussing mine rescue as a tool for leadership. 

Mine Rescue Industry Panel

  • Dr. Jeffrey Kravitz, mine emergency consultant
  • Mannas Fourie, Chief Executive officer of Mines Rescue Services South Africa
  • Simone Hensher, Chief Mine Engineer at Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations of Glencore
  • Dave Bernier, Mine Manager at Bell Creek Mine of Tahoe Canada

On Wednesday, April 10, conference attendees can visit the Information Exchange Trade Show in the hotel solarium, which features more than 30 vendors. 

On Thursday, April 11, technical sessions are held in the morning, and in the afternoon, a safety awards luncheon recognizes achievements in mining health and safety, and a keynote presentation wraps up the conference. 

For the fourth year running, Workplace Safety North will offer free video livestream of keynote speakers from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on Wednesday, April 10, and from 12:00 to 2:30 pm on Thursday, April 11. Last year, more than 150 attendees from five countries viewed the conference.  Register for livestream.

Featured speakers

Diamonds in the Rough
First ever all-women mine rescue team competes in Russia

In 2018, Diamonds in the Rough, the first ever all-women mine rescue team, competed at the International Mines Rescue Competition in Russia and finished 15th overall; their best competition result. The eight-member team consists of women employed at companies across Canada and was created to raise the profile of women in mining and non-traditional roles. 

Ted Hanley and Shawn Rideout
Ontario Mine Rescue celebrates 90-year anniversary 

In 1928, Ontario Mine Rescue was born from the tragedy at Hollinger Mine fire that claimed the lives of 39 miners in Timmins. Ted Hanley, Vice President and Shawn Rideout, Chief Mine Rescue Officer of Ontario Mine Rescue cover historical milestones of the mine rescue program in Ontario, and discuss the challenges facing mines in Ontario today. In addition, a recent significant rescue operation will be reviewed.

Mannas Fourie
Chief Executive Officer Mines Rescue Service in South Africa

Over the last 25 years, Mannas has been involved with South African gold mines and successfully managed several difficult and challenging mining operations. Throughout his mining career, Mannas has been exposed to several underground fires and mine rescue incidents while serving as an active mines rescue team member and captain. Mannas will discuss the progressive approaches for mine emergency response in South Africa. 

Ron DiFrancesco 

Ron shares the story of surviving the 911 terrorist attack in New York city. How he struggled to overcome survivors guilt and PTSD by focusing on mindfulness, what he has learned is the key to resiliency. For Ron, mindfulness brings you into the moment, the now. It reminds you to feel grateful, give back to your community and focus on what matters most. Mindfulness not only makes you more resilient and able to take on any challenge but it also makes you happier. 

Technical sessions topics

Technical sessions include:

  • Beyond the Response Phase! Building Emergency Management Programs in the Mining Sector
  • Challenges of mine rescue in expanding mine operations
  • Digital dementia: We are losing our minds!
  • Mine Rescue – Luxury or Necessity?
  • The Digital Tagboard – Solving tagboard incidents 
  • Investing in workplace wellbeing – A healthy workforce is a safe workforce
  • Innovation for prevention: Increasing capacity using the virtual classroom
  • Preventing Occupational Disease: Tools and Action
  • Cage Brake System for use on Steel Guides
  • Challenges and Rewards in Working Safely in the Far North
  • Occupational Diseases in the Ontario Mining Industry: Update from the Occupational Cancer Research Centre
  • Using the BCRSP Certification in Competency Assessments
  • DrugTest 5000: What’s your tolerance?
  • Red Lake Gold Mines: Expansive Mine Rescue Challenges and the 2018 Lithium Ion Battery Fire
  • Starting an underground mine rescue program at a remote site:  Vale Voisey Bay’s new underground mine
  • Why we train: Overcoming Challenges Faced at the 18-hour Vale South Mine Fire Call-out
  • Mine Rescue as a development tool for young workers:  Experiences of the Laurentian University Mine Rescue Club

Registration for the Mining Health and Safety Conference is now open – early bird pricing is available until February 28. Help make your workplace safer and register today.

Special thank you to Dräger, Keynote Speaker Sponsor of the 2019 Mining Health and Safety Conference.


Photo recap: 2018 Mining Health and Safety Conference