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HSE publishes draft guidance on UK Mines Regulations 2014 (L149)

26 January 2015

The UK Health and Safety Executive has announced that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Mines Regulations 2014 will come into effect on 6 April 2015, and will replace all current health and safety mining law. The current legislation will continue to apply up to and including 5 April 2015, along with the Approved Codes of Practice and guidance supporting it.

About this guidance

This guidance is for anyone who has duties under the Mines Regulations 2014. Primarily this will be mine operators, but it will also be useful for others in the mine management structure, safety representatives and representatives of employee safety.

It provides overarching advice and direction on how to meet the requirements of the Regulations. Further sector guidance on specific hazards and risk control is also available, and should be used when required to support and supplement this guidance.

What has changed?
·  The large volume of prescriptive law will be replaced by a single, modern set of regulations containing goal-setting requirements that focus on the control of the risks from major hazards in mines.
·  The principal dutyholder will be the mine operator, not the mine manager.
·  Duplication of requirements will be removed – general health and safety regulations apply where they adequately cover hazards currently covered by mines legislation.
·  There will no longer be a requirement for coal mines to participate in an approved mines rescue scheme, although there will be clear requirements on all mine operators to maintain suitable rescue provision.
·  Competence will be a clear requirement for all people working in a mine. The current HSE approval of qualifications and the requirement for certain post-holders to possess a certificate of attestation of qualification will be removed.

Once the new Regulations are in force, the Approved Codes of Practice (listed below) which support the current law will be withdrawn. Please note that L43, First Aid at Mines, will remain in force.

Current Approved Codes of Practice (to be withdrawn)
·  L128 - The use of electricity in mines
·  COP28 - Safety of exit from mines underground workings
·  L42 - Shafts and winding in mines
·  L45 - Explosives at coal and other safety-lamp mines
·  L46 - The prevention of inrushes in mines
·  L71 - Escape and rescue from mines
·  L119 - The control of ground movement in mines
·  L145 - Control of inhalable dust in coal mines
·  L44 - The management and administration of safety and health in mines

Until they are withdrawn, they can be downloaded at no cost.

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