Report: APP CMHS Project 1




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3.4.1. Safety and Health Management

The coal mine safety and health management is governed by Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS). The main aim of the DGMS is to continually improve the safety and health standards, practices and performance of the mining industry by implementation of pro-active safety and health strategies, continuous improvement of processes and effective use of resources. The major statutory provisions for the safety and health management in Indian Coal mines are included in the Mines Act 1952, the Coal Mine regulations (CMR 1957), Mines Rules1955, Mines Vocational Training Rules 1966 and Mines Recue Rules 1985. The DGMS has developed major programmes on occupational safety, occupational health and hygiene, and mines rescue services. The main points contained in the programmes, in relation to the coal mine safety and health management, are summarised in this section.

Occupational Safety

  • Monitoring of implementation of the technical standards on support system in Bord and Pillar workings.

  • Review of standards on stability of multi-seam workings.

  • Review of standards on detection and control fire and revision of the standards/guidelines.

  • Assessment of hazards associated with mine mechanisation and standardisation of monitoring techniques and control measures.

  • Standardisation of prototype test(s) houses for testing powered supports and hydraulic/friction props.

  • Standardisation of ultrasonic testing techniques and formulation of Acceptance & Rejection Norms.

  • Testing of fire resistant hydraulic oils.

Occupational Hygiene and Health

  • Standardisation of techniques for monitoring and control of occupational hazards of noise, air borne dust, mine gases and poor illumination.

  • Review and standardisation of medical examinations.

  • Review and standardisation of procedures for surveillance of occupational diseases.

DGMS has recommended several improvements in occupational health measures and control of hazards at work places. Representatives of the mine workers, coal mining companies and the DGMS collectively make recommendations for the betterment of safety and health of coal mine workers. One of the most significant recommendations is that each mining company shall create its own occupational health services and surveillance of persons including the training of medical officers and use of International Labour Organisations (ILO) guidelines for the betterment of health and hygiene of persons employed in coal mines.

Mines Rescue Services

The Services undertake critical appraisal of design characteristics and field performance of rescue apparatus and self rescuers, inquiry into accidents in use of rescue apparatus, inspection of rescue stations/rescue rooms, organising rescue competitions, and monitoring emergency management plan formulation of all underground mines. The Services also cover:

  • installation of testing facility for self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)

  • creation of rescue databases

  • design of rescue systems

  • inundation Rescue room service (RRS)

  • fire RRS

  • explosion RRS

  • development of disaster control systems

  • testing of self rescuers and SCBA

  • standard setting and review of emergency plans

  • issue of technical circulars to the mining industry.

New initiatives are required to make the legislation proactive rather than the current prescriptive nature. This will help bring the mining risks to an acceptable level.


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