Centre to amend mining regulations to promote safety

Kolkata, Sep 8 (IANS) With an aim to reduce injuries and fatalities in mines, the central government is working out a plan to amend regulations of coal, metalliferous and oil mines, and the Mines Act, and these are in different stages of execution, an official said on Thursday.

“We have been working out a plan to amend Coal Mines Regulations, Metalliferous Mines Regulations, Oil Mines Regulations and the Mines Act to reduce injuries and fatalities in mines. Of which, Oil Mines Regulations which is in the advance stage is expected to be operational in December,” said Director General, Mines Safety Rahul Guha.

“The Coal Mines Regulations is under consideration of Ministry of Law while Mines Act is before the group of ministers headed by union Finance Minister,” he said on the sidelines of an event organised by CII.

These new laws are goal-setting legislations, he said.

During 2006-2010, there had been 519 fatalities from 414 accidents in coal mines while 348 fatalities were recorded from 333 accidents in 2011 to 2015 period, he said. Contractors’ workers were involved in 21.26 percent of the fatalities during 2011-15 while the same was 17.34 percent in 2006 to 2010 period.

Guha also said fatal incidents in opencast mining is increasing than in underground operations.

“There had been a perceptible fall in fatalities but the causes of the accidents remained disturbingly similar,” he said, adding roof cave-ins, electricity and falls are major causes.

He also said that Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) has been focusing on safety management plan.

“Current system of training is almost at the end of their effectiveness. DGMS is also working on a modern safety training module,” he said.

According to him, the directorate is also trying to amend vocational training rules with a focus on identification of hazards and communicating in the quickest possible time.

–IANS

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