THE MINES RULES- 1955
The Mines Rules deal with matters related to the employment of persons, their health and the welfare amenities to be provided to them. The Mines Rules were amended in November-1978, and in the amended rules, a new chapter on medical examination of persons employed in Mines (Chapter IVA) was added after the Chapter IV on certifying Surgeons, providing for the initial and periodical medical examinations of all persons employed in a mine, after such date or dates as the Central Government may notify in the Official Gazette, The Mines (Amendment) Rules-1986, came into force with effect from 26 th April-1986. The main provisions have been the constitution and functioning of the workmen’s inspectors and the Pit Safety Committees and provisions of form J and K for the registers of reportable and minors accidents respectively. The quantum of disability allowance has also been fixed at 50% of the employee’s monthly wages.
The salient features of the provisions of the Mines Rules-1955 are as outlined below-
Medical Examination of Person Employed or to be Employed in Mines – The rules, introduced by GSR 557 (E) dated 18th November 1978, on this account do not apply to persons who are employed purely on temporary or casual basis for continuous period not exceeding six months. The rule 29B directs the Owner, Agent or Manager of every mine to make arrangements-
(a)(i) for the initial medical examination of every person employed in the mine, within a period of five years of the date so notified and the said examination shall be so arranged over a period of five years that one-fifth of the persons employed at the mine undergo the examination every year:
‘Provided that in the case of a mine where a system of carrying out of such medical examination (of a comparable standard as determined by the Chief Inspector) is already in existence before the date aforesaid, a person who has undergone a medical examination under such a system on a date not earlier than five years before the date aforesaid, shall be deemed to have undergone an initial medical examination under this sub-clause and the last date of his medical examination under the last date system shall be taken to be the date of his initial medical examination under these rules;
(ii) for the initial medical examination of every person seeking employment in a mine, unless such person has already undergone within the preceding five years a medical examination under these rules while in employment at another mine; and
(b) For the periodical medical examination thereafter of every person employed in the mine at intervals of not more than five years.
Workmen’s Inspector and Safety Committee – Rule 29T provides for a Safety Committee for every mine wherein more than 100 persons are ordinarily employed for promoting safety in the mine and the committee consists of The Manager as Chairman, Five officials or competent persons of the mine nominated by the Chairman, Five workmen nominated by the workmen, Workmen Inspector, and The Safety Officer. Rule 29R provides the duties of Workmen’s Inspector as-
(a) To inspect all shafts, inclines, roads, work places, and the equipment there inincluding the equipment for conveyance and transport of workers.
(b) In case of any urgent and immediate danger that comes to his notice; (i) to inform the Manager and the Inspector about the same; and (ii) to suggest remedial measures necessary to avoid the danger.
(c) To accompany the Inspector in the course of complete inspection of the mine and also during such other inspections as may be considered necessary by the inspector.
The functions of the safety Committee shall be
(a) to discuss remedial measures against unsafe conditions and practices in the mine as pointed out in the reports of the workmen’s inspector or otherwise brought to the notice of the committee and make appropriate recommendations;
(b) to consider, before commencement of operations in any new district or mine or commissioning of new electrical or mechanical installation or introduction of new mining technique, the proposed safety and health measure including related codes of practice and to make appropriate recommendations;
(c) to discuss the report of inquiry into accident and make appropriate recommendations;
(d) to formulate and implement appropriate safety campaigns based on analysis of accidents;
(e) to meet at least once in 30 days to consider the maters placed before it and other maters that may be raised by members and make such recommendations it may deem fir; and
(f) to serve as a forum for communication on safety and occupational health matters.
Health and Sanitation Provisions – On the aspects of the health and sanitation the provisions in the Mines Rules are as outlined below-
Rule 30 specifies the quantity of drinking water to be provided as quoted below-
(1) The quantity of drinking water to be provided in a mine or any part thereof shall be on a scale of at least two liters for every person employed at any one time and such drinking water shall be readily available at conveniently accessible points during the whole of the working shift.
(2) Where 100 persons or more are employed, either above ground or in opencast workings, at any one time, an Inspector may by order in writing require the drinking water to be effectively cooled by mechanical or other means available.
(3) No charge shall be made for the drinking water so supplied.
Rule 33 makes a provision for surface latrines and urinals as given below-
(1) On the surface at every mine, adequate latrine and urinal accommodation shall be provided at conveniently accessible places separately for the use of males and females employed in the mine.
(2) The scale of latrine accommodation shall be at least one seat for every 50 males and at least for every 50 females employed at one time; provided that where latrines are maintained in bathing places, the number of latrines to be provided under this rule may include such sanitary latrines. In calculating latrine accommodation, any fraction less than 50 shall be reckoned as 50.
Rule 34 specifies the standards of construction of latrine on the surface.
Rule 35 mentions that appropriate sign boards are to be displayed for the latrines for the Males and the Females.
Rules 40 to 45A outline the provisions of the first aid medical appliances in the mines including the Arrangements for Training Persons in First-aid, etc., First-aid Qualifications, First-aid Personnel, First-aid Rooms, First-aid Station, Carrying of First-aid Outfit by Officials, and Medical Attention in Case of Injury.
Rules 62 and 63 define the provision of shelters in the mines. ‘At every mine where more than 50 persons are ordinarily employed, there shall be provided adequate and suitable shelters at or near loading wharves of opencast workings, workshops and mine entrances where 25 or more persons are ordinarily employed for taking food and rest; Provided that any canteen maintained in accordance with these rules may be regarded part of the requirement of this rule.
Welfare Amenities – the Mines Rules, 1955 explicitly outline the various welfare amenities that are to be provided for the employees in the mines. The various provisions are briefly outlined below-
- Rule 64 makes a provision for canteens.
- Rule 65 defines the standards of canteen.
- Rule 66 defines the requirement of furniture and equipment in the canteens.
- Rule 67 outlines the required cleanliness in the canteens.
- Rule 68 describes the maintenance of the canteens and the provision of staff for the canteens.
- Rule 69 gives the composition of the canteen management committee.
- Rule 70 outlines the prices to be charged in the canteens.
- Rule 71 outlines that in every mine wherein 500 or more persons are employed a suitable Welfare Officer be appointed. For the mines having more than 2,500 employed persons the Welfare Officer shall be assisted by one additional Welfare Officer for every additional 2,000 persons or part thereof employed. The duties of the Welfare Officers are outlines in Rule 73.
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