In 1895, the Government of India initiated steps to frame legislative measures for safety of workmen. In 1897 first major disaster in mining hit the Kolar Goldfields killing 52 persons, to be soon followed by the Khost Coal Mine disaster in Baluchistan (now in Pakistan) killing 47 persons. The disaster hastened the process of formulation of safety laws and the first Mines Act was enacted in 1901. With further experience, this Act was superseded by the Indian Mines Act, 1923, which was again replaced by the present Mines Act, 1952. This Act came into force on the 1st July 1952. Major changes were incorporated in this Act in the years 1959 and 1983. The Mines Act, 1952 applies to mines of all minerals within the country including the offshore mines within the limits of territorial water.
For administering the provisions of the Indian Mines Act, 1901, the Government of India set up a "Bureau of Mines In spection & quot; on the 7th January 1902 with headquarters at Calcutta. The name of the organization was changed to Department of Mines in 1904 and its headquarters shifted to Dhanbad in 1908. On 1.1.1960, the organization was renamed as "Office of the Chief Inspector of Mines". Since 1.5.1967, the office has been re-designated as Directorate-General of Mines Safety (DGMS in short).