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Laws relating to Working Hours, Conditions of Service & Employment:
Mines Act, 1952
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The Mines Act, 1952 contains provisions for measures relating to the health, safety and welfare of workers in the coal, metalliferous and oil mines. According to the Act,the term 'mine' means "any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on and includes all borings, bore holes, oil wells and accessory crude conditioning plants, shafts, opencast workings, conveyors or aerial ropeways, planes, machinery works, railways, tramways , slidings, workshops, power stations, etc. or any premises connected with mining operations and near or in the mining area".

The Act prescribes the duties of the owner to manage mines and mining operation and the health and safety in mines. It also prescribes the number of working hours in mines, the minimum wage rates, and other related matters.

The Act is administered by the Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS). DGMS is the Indian Government regulatory agency for safety in mines and oil-fields. It conducts inspections and inquiries, issues competency tests for the purpose of appointment to various posts in the mines, organises seminars/conferences on various aspects of safety of workers. The mission of DGMS is to reduce the risk of occupational diseases and injury to persons employed in mines and to continually improve safety and health standards, practices and performance in the mining industry. In order to fulfil its mission, DGMS performs the following functions:-

  • Periodic inspections of mines to keep vigil over the status of safety.


  • Investigations into accidents, dangerous occurrence and complaints.


  • Granting statutory permissions for specific mining operations and laying down precautionary measures while working.


  • Developing safety legislation and standards.


  • Undertaking safety promotional initiatives through safety campaigns, awareness programmes and workers’ participation in safety management.

The Central Government has set up 'Courts of Inquiry' in order to investigate into the accidents which result in the death of 10 or more miners.

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Mines Act, 1952
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