John T. Ryan Safety Trophies

For a mine in a given category which experienced the lowest reportable injury frequency in the previous year

Origins & Conditions


Known for his contributions to the advancement of mine safety, John T. Ryan’s passion for improving the safety of mine workers was borne of tragedy. On March 26, 1912, Ryan was working as an engineer at the Jed mine in West Virginia. A methane gas leak caused an explosion in the mine, killing 80 workers.

This inspired Ryan to start Mine Safety Appliances (MSA), a company devoted to creating new and improved safety equipment for miners. His company would recruit one of America’s most famous inventors, Thomas Edison, who helped to create the electric cap lamp, which resulted in likely hundreds of lives being saved.

For his commitment to mining safety, in 1941 CIM created the John T. Ryan Trophy, which is given out every year by MSA Canada to the mine sites with the lowest injury rates.

The John T. Ryan Trophies are awarded by Mine Safety Appliances Canada Limited as a memorial to the founder of the company. The trophies are awarded by the Institute to the metalliferous mine, the select mine and the coal mine which in the previous year experienced the lowest reportable injury frequency per 200,000 hours worked in Canada. For nominations, please contact your local chief mines inspector, or the John T. Ryan secretary Thomas Demorest at

  1. The CIM Council, on the recommendations of the John T. Ryan Trophies Committee, shall award annually the trophies to the companies whose Canadian mines have achieved the lowest accident frequencies in the competition entry period. The following trophies shall be awarded:

    (a) Three Canada Trophies, one each for Metal Mines, Select Mines and Coal Mines.

    (b) Six Regional Trophies, four for Metal Mines and two for Select Mines.

    (c) The four regions for Metal Mines are: British Columbia and Yukon Territory; the Prairie Provinces and Northwest Territories; Ontario; and Quebec and East.

    (d) The two regions for Select Mines are: Manitoba and West; and Ontario and East.

    (e) Special Award Certificates will be awarded at the discretion of the Committee to companies having exemplary safety records but which were not eligible for a trophy.

  2. The awards shall be presented to the mining companies in the year following the competition year:

    (a) the Canada Trophies at the annual CIM Conference & Exhibition; and

    (b) the Regional Trophies at an appropriate Institute or Branch meeting.

  3. The winning companies shall hold the trophies for one year, unless two or more mine units have the lowest reportable injury rate, in which case the award shall be jointly presented and the Committee shall specify what part of the ensuing year each company shall hold the trophy.
  4. The competition year shall be the calendar year prior to the annual CIM Conference & Exhibition. The competition entry period shall be the complete calendar year or years required to comply with item 6 below.
  5. A "metal" mine shall mean a mine producing precious or base metals from underground operations. 
    A "select" mine shall mean:

    (a) a mine producing from a flat-bedded, subterranean, consolidated industrial mineral deposit, usually mined by highly mechanized methods which may or may not require the use of explosives;

    (b) an open-cast metal or consolidated industrial mineral deposit; and oil sands operations.

  6. A unit of competition shall be:

    (a) a metal or select mine where the employees have worked a minimum of 500,000 employee-hours; or

    (b) a coal mine where the employees have worked a minimum of 120,000 employee-hours, in one or more complete consecutive calendar years ending on December 31st of the competition year.

    A company which employs a contractor to do mine development, diamond drilling or production work (excluding construction work) at the mine site shall include the contractor work experience during a unit of competition.

    A company which contracts to do development and production work for one or several different mining companies in one region of the competition may be eligible for an award provided it satisfies all other conditions.

    Please note details on the unit of competition on the official entry form.

  7. The following injuries shall be counted:

    (a) Injuries compensated by Official Compensation payments.

    (b) Each injury occurring in the competition entry period and which results in compensation payable for a total or partial disability lasting one working day or more, not including the day of injury, and for which compensation is payable. This shall include such a case as hernia which is accepted but where remedial work and payments are deferred.

    (c) Each injury resulting in a personal award or lump sum payable for any partial or permanent disability.
    Injuries resulting in Deaths.

    (d) Each death caused by an accident shall be counted as one injury, but one fatality during a competition period shall automatically disqualify a mine.
    Compensable injuries do not include slow developing industrial diseases.

  8. The number of compensable injuries in the competition entry period as determined by a Compensation Board, and acceptable to the regional representative of the Committee, shall be final.
  9. The number of employee-hours worked during the competition entry period by a competing mine unit and as attested to by the Company, from its records, shall be final.
  10. The injury frequency rate is determined by multiplying the number of compensable accidents in the competition entry period by one million and dividing by the total employee-hours worked in the same period.
  11. The average number of persons on the payroll shall mean the sum of the number of employees on the payroll at the end of each month in the competition entry period divided by the number of months in that period.
  12. The Committee, composed of the Chairman, the Secretary, the most senior mines inspector from each province and territory and the top representatives of provincial and territorial mining associations, shall be charged with the task of:

    (a) Promoting the competitions through cooperation with mining companies, Departments of Mines, Mining Associations, Accident Prevention Associations and the like.

    (b) Keeping under scrutiny the safety records of all Canadian coal, metal and select mines and in particular those eligible for these awards, with a view to setting acceptable standards of achievement.

    (c) Having companies confirm their injury frequency rating by submitting their entry in duplicate on official forms supplied by the Institute and mailed to the Committee.

    (d) Checking entry forms as submitted by companies and making a report. 



Agnico Eagle, Division Lapa (Canada Trophy for Metal Mines)


Mosaic Potash Esterhazy Limited, K1 Mine (Canada Trophy for Select Mines)

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