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
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
- 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
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.