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Directorate General Of Mines Safety
- Protecting Miner’s Safety & Health Since 1901
Let us make the work place and environment in mines safe and secured for the miner who extract minerals for the making of a nation.
FAQ's
FAQ's
1.What are the Existing Legislative Provisions regarding safety, health and welfare of mine workers?
Ans. • Under the Constitution of India, safety, welfare and health of workers employed in mines are the concern of the Central Government (Entry 55- Union List- Article 246). • The objective is regulated by the Mines Act, 1952 and the Rules and Regulations framed thereunder which are administered by the Directorate- General of Mines Safety (DGMS), under the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment. • A list of the subordinate legislation under the Mines Act administered by DGMS are – • Coal Mines Regulations, 1957. • Metalliferous Mines Regulations, 1961. • Oil Mines Regulations, 1984. • Mines Rules, 1955. • Mines Vocational Training Rules, 1966. • Mines Rescue Rules, 1985. • Mines Creche Rules, 1966.  
 
2. How the Compliance of the Provisions are ensured? 
Ans. The owner, agent or manager of the mine is required to comply with the provisions of health and safety provisions of the Mines Act and the rules framed thereunder, as required under Section 18 of the Mines Act, 1952. 
 
3. How the Provisions of Health, Safety and Welfare Amenities are enforced?
Ans. DGMS is the enforcement agency which ensures compliance of the stated provisions through inspections by inspecting officers. The health, safety and welfare provisions of Mines Act and Rules are invariably checked during the course of general inspection of the mines. The violations observed during the course of general inspection of the mines. The violations observed during the course of such inspections are being followed up by subsequent follow up inspection. In case of noncompliances, the improvement notices, prohibitory orders etc. are also being issued till it is complied.
 
4. What is the Role and Function of DGMS?  
Ans. 1. Inspection of mines. 2. Investigation into – a) accidents b) dangerous occurrences – emergency response c) complaints & other matters 3. a) Grant of : i) statutory permission, exemptions & relaxations - pre-view of project reports & mining plans ii) approval of mine safety equipment, material & appliances b) Interactions for development of safety equipment, material and safe work practices through workshop etc. c) Development of Safety Legislation & Standards d) Safety Information Dissemination. 4. Conduct of examinations for grant of competency certificates. 5. Safety promotion initiatives including : (a) Organisation of – Conference on Safety in Mines National Safety Awards Safety Weeks & Campaigns. (b) Promoting – - Safety education and awareness programmes - Workers’ participation in safety management through- Workmen’s inspector Safety committee Tripartite reviews
 
5. What are the provisions of law in respect of accidents in mines?

Ans. The DGMS organisation at the apex level is headed by Director-General based at Dhanbad in the Jharkhand State. He is assisted by seven Deputy Directors-General (DDG) in Mining discipline one Deputy Director-General in Electrical discipline and one Deputy Director-General in Mechanical discipline. . For administrative convenience, whole of country is divided into six zones and each zone is headed by a DDG. Each Zone is further sub-divided into 3 or 4 Regions. Each Regional Office is headed by a Director of Mines Safety. Each Director in-charge of a Regional Office is assisted by 2 to 3 Deputy Directors. All technical officers in DGMS are appointed through UPSC and are at least graduate engineers in Mining, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering. At the entry level, each officer also has at least 7 years’ experience of working in the Industry. In addition, officers in Mining Cadre are also required to possess First Class Manager’s Competency Certificate (Post Graduate Statutory qualifications for managing a mine).

The DGMS has a total sanctioned strength of 167 technical officers/Inspecting officers at different levels. Of these, 15 to 20% of posts remain vacant at any given time due to time lag in recruitment etc.

The jurisdiction of DGMS extends to whole of India upto the limits of Territorial waters in all types of mines – coal mines, metalliferous mines, stone quarries and Oil mines (Oil well drilling, exploration and production).

Ans. Following provisions are existing in the Mines Act & the Rules & Regulations made thereunder on accidents in mines: Section 23 of the Mines Act5, 1952: Notice of Accidents Notice of accidents by the mine management of DGMS Enquiry in to such accident by DGMS Regulation 9: Prescribes nature of accidents and the forms in which notices are to be sent to specified persons which include Coal Mines Welfare Commissioner in cases of Fatal and Serious accidents. Regulation 199: Places of accidents not to be disturbed unless otherwise permitted by Chief Inspector or Inspector. Regulation 199A:Enforcement of Emergency Plan in the mine immediately after occurrence of accident. Section 24: Power of Central Govt. to appoint court of inquiry in cases of Accidents: Central Government normally appoints court of inquiries in cases of major accidents and disasters in mines.
 
6. What are the major cases of accidents in mines? 
Ans. Coal mines are considered more risky than Metalliferous mines all over the world. The incidences of accidents and number of fatality in coal mines are higher than non-coal mines. The major causes of accidents in mines are :- • Explosions and Fires : Methane & Coal Dust Explosions Spontaneous Heating of Coal • Inundation (Sudden inrush of water into the mines: From surface Underground • Strata Failure : Roof and Side Fall in Underground Mines Pit and Dump Slides & Failure in opencast mines • Heavy Earth Moving machinery : Shovel, Dumper, Trucks & Tippers
 
7. What steps are being taken by the Government to prevent such accidents in mines? 
Ans. (i) All fatal and serious accidents including dangerous occurrences especially due to fires, explosives, gases and many other important subjects are enquired by DGMS. (ii) After completion of enquiries, legal actions as deem fit including prosecution against the persons found responsible for the accidents are taken. (iii) Accidents are also technically analyzed in details and based on findings of such analysis, technical circulars, instructions and guidelines are issued on various causes and failures to improve the standards of safety in mines and to prevent such recurrences. (iv) Accident Prone Mines are also identified on the basis of such analysis and focal attentions are given on such mines through inspections and follow up action so that their conditions are brought to safe levels. 
 
8. What are the Remedial measures taken to bring down the rate of accidents in Mines?
Ans. (i) Strict enforcement of existing statute. (ii) Close monitoring of the working of the mines by Safety Supervisors in the mines, Internal Safety Organisation of the mining companies and by the Inspecting officers of DGMS. (iii) Taking suitable actions as per the statute for non-compliance such as stoppage of work, issue of violation letters, issue of prohibitory notices/orders, launching of prosecutions under the court of law etc. (iv) Strengthening the mechanism of training & re-training or workers & supervisors. (v) Inquiry into accidents, analysis for ascertaining the causes and circumstances leading to accidents and taken suitable action for preventing similar accidents in future. (vi) Introducing the concept of Safety Management through risk assessment for identification of hazards, assessment of risks in the hazards, evolving control measures, implementation of control measures and monitoring the effectiveness of the control measures through safety audit. This is a new concept and is being introduced gradually in conjunction with existing practices of legislative safety management. Workers at all levels are involved in the process of decision making on risk management for its effective implementation through greater involvement. (vii) Improving the awareness of workers at all levels regarding safety issues involved in the work process and the safe operating procedures for each job. 
 
9. What are the Legislative Provisions relating to Safety and Health in industries? 
Ans. The safety, health and welfare or workers employed in factories are covered under the Factories Act, 1948 which is a central legislation. The Act contains detailed provisions on health, safety welfare, working hours, leave, penalties etc. and is applicable to premises wherein 10 or more workers are employed without the aid of power. The State Governments are empowered under Section 85 of the Act to bring those factories wherein less than 10 workers with the aid lf power or 20 or more workers are employed without the aid of power under the purview of this Act. The provisions of the Factories Act and Rules framed thereunder are enforced by the State Governments through the State Factories Directorate/Inspectorates.  
 
10. What are the important provisions in the Factories Act? 
Ans. The important provisions in the Factories Act, 1948 relates to • Appointment of Inspectors, • Responsibility of the Occupier and Manufacturer of Articles used in factories, (This provisions was incorporated in 1987 after the Bhopal Tragedy) • Health Provisions • Safety provisions • Welfare Provisions • Working Hours. • Employment of Young Persons. • Annual Leave With Wages. • Special Provisions (power to apply the Act to certain premises, dangerous operations, notice of accidents and occupational diseases, power of enquiry, etc.) • Penalties and Procedures. • The important provisions relating to Safety and Health of workers are given below. Health Provisions Every factory must take the following measures as per the provisions of the Act to ensure health of the workers. • To keep its premises in a clean state; • To dispose of wastes and effluents: • To maintain adequate ventilation and reasonable temperature; • To prevent accumulation of dust and fume; • To avoid over crowding; • To provide sufficient lighting, drinking water, latrines and urinals. Safety Provisions Every factory must take the following measures as per the provisions of the Act to ensure safety of the workers? • to fence certain machinery; • to protect workers repairing machinery in motion; • to protect young persons working on dangerous machines; • to ensure hoists and lifts and pressure vessels are of sound construction and maintained in good working conditions; • Floors, stairs and means of access in every factory shall be of sound construction and properly maintained to ensure safety of the works. • to protect workers from injury to their eyes; • to protect workers from dangerous dust, gas, fumes and vapours; • to protect workers from fire, explosives or flammable dust or gas, etc. 
 
11. What are the powers of the Inspectors appointed under the Factories Act, 1948?
Ans. An inspector appointed under the Act has power- • to enter any place which is used as a factory; • to make examination of the premises, plant and machinery. • to require the production of any register and any other document relating to the factory , and • to take statement of any person, for carrying out the purposes of the Act. • To initiate legal action for violation or non compliance of the provisions of the Act and Rules made thereunder. 
 
12. What is the system of reporting of occupational diseases in the Factories? 
Ans. Where any workers in a factory contacts any notifiable disease as specified in the Third Schedule the manager of the factory shall send a notice to inspector of factories in such a form and in the manner prescribed (Section 89).
13. What actions are initiated against the management for violation of the provisions of the Act? 
Ans. The inspectors visit the factories and violations of the provisions of the Act and the Rules framed thereunder are brought to the notice of the occupier/manager for taking necessary actions particularly when building, machineries and equipment are likely to lead conditions detrimental to the health and safety of the workers. The inspectors also have power to prohibit employment on account of serious hazards, initially for a period of three days. The occupier is directed to remove the hazard before re-employing the workers. In case the occupier/manager do not abide by the written order issued by the inspector prosecution is initiated for the violation of any of the provisions of Act and Rules. (Powers of Inspectors are given in Section 9, 40-A and Section 87-A).  
 
14. What are the major initiatives taken by DGFASLI to improve safety and health of the workers in the manufacturing sector? 
Ans. The major initiatives undertaken by DGFASLI are: • DGFASLI undertook the framing of model factories rules in consultation with the Chief Inspector of Factories/Union Territories for guidance and adoption by the State Governments to ensure uniformity. • Organizes annual conference of Chief Inspector of factories. • National and consultancy studies are undertaken to assess the status of occupational health of the workers in factories and ports to formulate appropriate standards/guidelines for inclusion in the statutes. • Conducts professional and academic training programmes for supervisors, safety officers, factory medical officers, specialised certificate course for competent supervisions in hazardous process industries.  
 
15. How does DGMS carry out its mission?
Ans.  In order to fulfil its mission, DGMS performs the following functions:
  • Periodic inspections of mines to keep vigil over the status of safety.
  • Investigations into accidents, dangerous occurrence and complaints.
  • Granting statutory permissions for specific mining operations and laying down precautionary measures while working.
  • Developing Safety Legislation and Standards.
Undertaking safety promotional initiatives through safety campaigns, awareness programmes and workers’ participation in safety management.
 
16. Then, why do accidents take place in mines?
Ans. Accident causation is a complex process. But generally these are caused due to Unsafe Acts and Unsafe conditions . Acombination of factors at the same moment may lead to accident causing injury or persons may escape without any injury.
 
17. Should the DGMS not be made to account for the accidents in mines?
Ans. Working the mines, obtaining mineral and ensuring protection of their Human Resource is primarily the management functions. Management makes necessary provisions for the purpose keeping in view the profitability of operations and statutory provisions in this regard. Just as profits from the operations go to the managements, any consequences in the process including accidents must also be the responsibility of the management.
 
18. Why DGMS should also not be held responsible for accidents?
Ans. As an arm of the Ministry of Labour, the role of DGMS is to act as a watch dog to see that the mine management comply with the statutory provisions relating to occupational safety and health in mines. DGMS officers make periodic inspections to make sample checks. Keeping in mind, the limited resources available by way of inspecting officers and associated infrastructure, it is humanely impossible for them to ensure compliance by management at all times and at all work places.
 
19. If DGMS is not responsible for accidents, then what is the need for having a regulatory agency at all?
Ans. Whenever DGMS officers, during the course of inspection or enquiry, detect an urgent and immediate danger to life and safety of persons, an order prohibiting work is immediately issued in accordance with the provisions of the Mines Act. Each such order, in effect, prevents an accident. In other cases, whenever, a contravention is noticed, an action is initiated which could be punitive, retributive or corrective in nature. The role of DGMS in mining industry and in ensuring safety of workers is of paramount importance and more so in the context of globalization of economy.
20. What is the staff strength of DGMS and what is its jurisdiction?
Ans. The DGMS organisation at the apex level is headed by Director-General based at Dhanbad in the Jharkhand State. He is assisted by seven Deputy Directors-General (DDG) in Mining discipline, one Deputy Director-General in Electrical discipline and one Deputy Director-General in Mechanical discipline. For administrative convenience, whole of country is divided into six zones and each zone is headed by a DDG. Each Zone is further sub-divided into 3 or 4 Regions. Each Regional Office is headed by a Director of Mines Safety. Each Director in-charge of a Regional Office is assisted by 2 to 3 Deputy Directors. All technical officers in DGMS are appointed through UPSC and are at least graduate engineers in Mining, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering. At the entry level, each officer also has at least 7 years’ experience of working in the Industry. In addition, officers in Mining Cadre are also required to possess First Class Manager’s Competency Certificate (Post Graduate Statutory qualifications for managing a mine).

The DGMS has a total sanctioned strength of 165 technical officers/Inspecting officers at different levels. Of these, 15 to 20% of posts remain vacant at any given time due to time lag in recruitment etc.

The jurisdiction of DGMS extends to whole of India upto the limits of Territorial waters in all types of mines – coal mines, metalliferous mines, stone quarries and Oil mines (Oil well drilling, exploration and production).