DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF MINES SAFETY
The DGMS organization 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 and one Deputy Director-General in Electrical discipline. For administrative convenience, whole of the 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.
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).
The mission of DGMS is reduction in risk of occupational diseases and casualty to persons employed in mines, by drafting appropriate legislation and setting standards, by overseeing compliance thereof and through a variety of promotional initiatives and awareness programmes creating an environment where safety is given due priority.
Role and functions of DGMS include drafting of appropriate legislation and setting standards, by overseeing compliance thereof as intensively as its resources permit and through a variety of promotional initiatives and awareness programmes the officers of DGMS exercise preventive as well as educational influence over the mining industry. DGMS is also promoting the concept of ‘self-regulation’ as well as ‘workers’ participation in safety management’ and, with changing scenario, attempting to superimpose its traditional role of seeking compliance by legal sanctions and work prohibition optimally with advisory and other safety promotional initiatives, thereby creating an environment in which safety is given due priority. Current functions of DGMS can be broadly divided as follows:-
2. Investigation into –
(b) Dangerous occurrences – emergency response
(c) Complaints & other matters
3. (a) Grant of:
(i) Statutory permission, exemptions & relaxation
(ii) Approval of mine safety equipment, material & appliances
(b) Interactions for development of safety equipment, material and safe work practices
(c) Development of Safety Legislation & Standards
(d) Safety Information Dissemination
4. Safety promotional initiatives including:
(a) Organization 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 –
- Conduct of examinations for grant of competency certificates.
The umbrella act which governs mining activities in the country is The Mines Act, 1952 under which The Mines Rules, 1955 were framed, which are amended from time to time. Coal mining is specifically governed by The Coal Mines Regulations, 1957 and the Circulars issued by the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) from time to time. The non-coal mining is regulated by The Metalliferous Mines Regulations, 1961 and related DGMS Circulars.