The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. This includes, enforcing the general requirement that employers provide instruction to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker [see clause 25(2)(a) of the OHSA].

Section 265 of O. Reg. 213/91 Regulation for Construction Projects sets out requirements for the rescue of tunnel workers. Subsection 265(1) of the Regulation requires that a specified number of workers at a project be trained to perform underground rescue. Subsection 265(3) requires that those rescue workers be trained by a competent person appointed by a Director of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

To be eligible for an appointment as a tunnel rescue trainer under subsection 265(3), an applicant must successfully complete a comprehensive application process, and in doing so demonstrate competency to deliver the training. This process consists of a formal application which is scored through a competency matrix, an interview including a presentation, as well as meeting conditions of appointment described in the next paragraph.

To apply to become appointed as a tunnel rescue trainer applicants must display competency in training, show current or recent activity in the tunneling sector; and must submit a cover letter to the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Branch (OHSB) and a detailed outline of relevant experience, as described below. The applicant may choose to submit letters of reference from industry professionals.

The relevant experience outline for each applicant must include, but is not limited to, relevant work, training/certifications, and academic experience. Applicants will be assessed for:

  • knowledge and experience in underground and tunneling operations
  • experience and certification as a trainer
  • knowledge and experience with self-rescuer breathing apparatus and self-contained breathing apparatus
  • valid first aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification, first aid/CPR trainer certification
  • knowledge and experience in tunnel and underground rescue procedures
  • knowledge and experience in the applicable health and safety legislative requirements
  • underground air/gas monitoring

Qualified applicants will be required to undergo a formal interview in which they must demonstrate presentation skills. Reference checks are mandatory before the OHSB Director issues any appointment letter.

Applicants will be notified of the progress of their application through each stage of the process.

Appointments are valid for three years and can be revoked at any time by the OHSB Director if an appointee no longer qualifies to provide tunnel rescue training. For example, an appointment may be revoked if an appointee leaves the industry and begins work in an unrelated field.

This resource does not replace the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations and should not be used as or considered legal advice. Health and safety inspectors apply and enforce these laws based on the facts they find in the workplace.