Evaluating an internal responsibility system audit tool for Ontario’s mining sector

Reasons for the study

In the spring of 2015, on the recommendation of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review Advisory Group, the Ontario Mining Association and labour representatives created a guideline on internal responsibility system (IRS) best practices for Ontario’s underground mines. The Institute for Work & Health and Workplace Safety North embodied these IRS best practices in a tool called the Internal Responsibility System Climate Assessment and Audit Tool (IRS CAAT), which was then piloted in five underground mining operations. Based on the audit results and survey responses collected during the pilot, IWH researchers are testing the reliability and validity of the IRS CAAT.

Objectives of the study

  • To analyze the reliability of the IRS CAAT based on more than 1,500 survey responses
  • To analyze the validity of IRS CAAT scores by looking at the relationship between a mine’s score on the IRS CAAT and its work-related injury and illness claims rates

Anticipated results/impact

The findings may help members of the Ontario Mining Association decide whether to expand the use of the IRS CAAT for the purposes of strengthening the internal responsibility system within the underground mining sector.

Related scientific publications

Mustard C, Lay M, Landsman V. Auditing the internal responsibility system in Ontario's mining industry. Institute for Work & Health; 2017.

Project status


Research team

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Victoria Landsman, Institute for Work & Health
Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizations

Workplace Safety North

Funded by

Ontario Ministry of Labour