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Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/90-97)

Regulations are current to 2022-07-13 and last amended on 2021-01-01. Previous Versions

PART IISafe Occupancy of the Work Place

General

  •  (1) The mine manager shall, in respect of each underground portion of a coal mine,

    • (a) develop for employees procedures for the safe entry to, exit from and occupancy of that portion;

    • (b) develop emergency procedures that include

      • (i) an emergency evacuation plan,

      • (ii) a description of the procedures to be followed,

      • (iii) the location of the emergency equipment provided by the employer, and

      • (iv) an up-to-date plan of the coal mine; and

    • (c) develop and implement safe operating procedures for each employee occupation.

  • (2) The employer shall keep a copy of the procedures referred to in subsection (1) readily available for examination by employees at the coal mine in respect of which the procedures apply.

  • (3) The employer shall instruct and train all employees in the procedures referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).

  •  (1) The employer shall provide every person granted access to an underground portion of a coal mine with an electric safety lamp.

  • (2) The employer shall provide every person who carries out an inspection that is required to be carried out under these Regulations by a person who holds a certificate as a mine examiner with a locked-flame safety lamp.

 Not more than 15 persons shall be present at one time in a place underground, unless there are at least two separate means of exit to the surface.

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall excavate a shaft at a distance of less than 30 m from another shaft.

  • (2) A shaft may be connected to another shaft by a passageway if the passageway is not less than 1.2 m in width and 1.2 m in height.

  •  (1) A qualified person shall, every day, inspect

    • (a) the vertical shafts by which employees descend or ascend in a coal mine; and

    • (b) all shaft equipment that is used in the transportation system for employees in the vertical shafts.

  • (2) The qualified person referred to in subsection (1) shall make a written report of the inspection in a book kept for that purpose.

Overmen’s Sections

  •  (1) A mine manager shall define on a plan, on a scale of not less than 1:10,000, the limits of each section of the mine for which an overman is responsible in such a manner that

    • (a) every working face, other than an area where work is being carried out for the purpose of repairing or enlarging a roadway, is included within a section; and

    • (b) the section is of a size that permits a pre-shift inspection to be completed in two hours or less.

  • (2) A mine manager shall designate a meeting station that is located at the entrance to each overman’s section referred to in subsection (1) and shall

    • (a) mark each meeting station clearly on the plan; and

    • (b) cause a notice to be posted at each meeting station identifying it as a meeting station.

  • (3) No person, other than a person carrying out an inspection or a person accompanying that person, shall pass beyond a meeting station referred to in subsection (2) unless

    • (a) the section has been inspected and reported to be safe by the person who carried out the inspection referred to in subsection 41(1); and

    • (b) the person is instructed to pass beyond the meeting station by the overman responsible for the section.

  • (4) No overman shall instruct any person to pass beyond the meeting station of the section for which the overman is responsible unless the overman has information indicating that it is safe to pass beyond the meeting station.

Pre-Shift Inspections

  •  (1) Every overman’s section shall be inspected by a mine examiner within the four-hour period preceding the beginning of work by each shift in that section.

  • (2) Where there are persons present in an overman’s section, a mine examiner shall carry out the inspections of that section at intervals not exceeding eight hours.

Inspections During Shifts

  •  (1) Every overman who is responsible for a section shall inspect every part of the section at least once during every shift at such times that no place at which an employee works remains uninspected by the overman for more than four hours after the timewhen the shift of that employee began work in that section.

  • (2) The inspection referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried out to ascertain the conditions in relation to ventilation, strata control and general safety.

  • (3) At least once during every shift, a mine examiner shall inspect every part of the overman’s section that is allotted to the mine examiner for inspection purposes.

Inspections Outside an Overman’s Section

  •  (1) At the beginning of every shift and at least once during every shift, a mine examiner shall inspect the following places that are not included in an overman’s section:

    • (a) every place at which mineral is being worked for repairing or enlarging a roadway;

    • (b) every place from which machinery, equipment, tools or supports are being removed or salvaged; and

    • (c) every place at which employees may work and through which employees do not regularly pass.

  • (2) A mine examiner shall inspect

    • (a) every roadway or place through which employees regularly pass, at intervals not exceeding 24 hours; and

    • (b) every airway, at least once per week.

General Duties

  •  (1) Every overman or mine examiner who carries out an inspection under any of sections 41 to 43 shall, in the course of the inspection,

    • (a) inspect the machinery and equipment;

    • (b) report to the underground manager any machinery or equipment found by the employee to be unsafe; and

    • (c) post at the appropriate meeting station a record of the report referred to in paragraph (b).

  • (2) No person shall use any machinery or equipment that is the subject of a record referred to in paragraph (1)(c) until such time as it has been reported to be safe.

Reports

  •  (1) Every mine examiner who carries out an inspection referred to in section 41 or subsection 42(2) shall make a report of the inspection in a book kept for that purpose, including

    • (a) the state of the roof support;

    • (b) the state of the ventilation and all matters affecting ventilation;

    • (c) the concentration of flammable gases; and

    • (d) any thing or circumstance that is likely to be hazardous to the safety or health of employees.

  • (2) Every overman or mine examiner who carries out an inspection referred to in subsection 42(1) or section 43 shall make a report of the inspection in a book kept for that purpose, including all information relevant to the safety or health of employees.

  • (3) Where an inspection discloses a dangerous condition in an underground portion of a coal mine, the employee who carried out the inspection shall forthwith report the condition to the overman who is responsible for that portion of the coal mine or to the underground manager.

Dangerous Conditions

  •  (1) Where an overman who is responsible for an underground portion of a coal mine becomes aware of a dangerous condition in that portion of the coal mine, the overman shall

    • (a) evacuate all persons, other than an employee referred to in subsection (3), from the portion affected by the dangerous condition;

    • (b) post a sign in a conspicuous place as close as possible to the dangerous condition but outside the danger area created by the dangerous condition, to warn persons of the dangerous condition; and

    • (c) report the existence of the dangerous condition orally to the mine manager or the underground manager.

  • (2) Where a sign is posted in accordance with paragraph (1)(b), no person shall enter the danger area referred to in that paragraph.

  • (3) Subsection (2) does not apply to an employee whose presence is necessary to correct the dangerous condition referred to in subsection (1).

Inspection on Behalf of Employees

  •  (1) The employees employed in a coal mine may, for the purpose of an inspection and test for gas on behalf of the employees, be represented by any of the following persons identified by them for that purpose:

    • (a) a person who holds a certificate as a mine examiner; and

    • (b) two persons who belong to one of the following categories, namely,

      • (i) two employees who are employed in the coal mine, at least one of whom holds a certificate as a mine examiner, or

      • (ii) two persons each of whom holds a certificate as a coal miner and has at least five years’ experience of work underground in a mine from which coal is extracted, and at least one of whom holds a certificate as a mine examiner.

  • (2) At least once every month, the employer shall permit the representatives referred to in subsection (1) to inspect every part of the coal mine, including the machinery and equipment therein, and to test for gas therein.

  • (3) For the purposes of an inspection or test on behalf of employees, the mine manager and the employees in the coal mine shall give every assistance necessary to the representatives referred to in subsection (1).

  • (4) The employer, the mine manager or an officer of the coal mine chosen by the employer or mine manager may accompany the representatives who carry out an inspection or test referred to in subsection (2).

  • (5) The results of an inspection or test referred to in subsection (2) shall be reported in writing to the employer and to a safety officer at the district office.

Guards, Fences and Barricades

 Where a machine, piece of equipment, tool, fixed ladder, fixed landing or lighting system is likely to be hazardous to the safety or health of an employee, a guard or fence shall be installed for the protection of the employees.

 Where live tests are performed on electrical equipment in an area, a guard or fence shall be installed for the protection of the employees, and no unauthorized person shall enter the area unless the electrical equipment is locked out.

  •  (1) Where flammable gases are discharged from a methane drainage system in an area, a barricade shall be installed in a location where the concentration of flammable gas does not exceed 2 per cent, to prevent access to the area by unauthorized persons.

  • (2) Warning signs shall be posted on the barricade referred to in subsection (1), indicating that access by unauthorized persons is prohibited.

Mechanical Equipment and Electrical Equipment

 No electricity shall be supplied or used in any part of a coal mine unless the electrical system and electrical equipment and the use thereof have been approved by the Coal Mining Safety Commission.

  •  (1) The mine manager shall prepare plans, including written instructions, for the installation, inspection, testing and maintenance of all mechanical equipment, electrical equipment, machinery and tools in use in the coal mine.

  • (2) The plans referred to in subsection (1) and any changes in those plans shall be certified by an engineer.

  • (3) The chief mechanic shall supervise the implementation of the mechanical aspects of the plans referred to in subsection (1).

  • (4) The chief electrician shall supervise the implementation of the electrical aspects of the plans referred to in subsection (1).

  • (5) The mechanical work and the electrical work required by the plans referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried out by mine mechanics and mine electricians, respectively.

  • (6) Every mine mechanic or mine electrician who carries out any work provided for in the plans referred to in subsection (1) shall make a written report of that work to the mine manager.

  • (7) Every report referred to in subsection (6) shall be read and countersigned by the chief mechanic and the chief electrician who shall take action immediately to correct any defect that is known by or reported to either of them and that is likely to affect the safety or health of employees.

 At least once every 24 hours of operation of a coal mine, a mine mechanic shall

  • (a) inspect the external parts of every conveyor and belt line in use in the coal mine; and

  • (b) make a record of the inspection referred to in paragraph (a) in a book kept for that purpose.

Accumulations of Water or Concentrations of Gas

  •  (1) Where any workings in a coal mine are advancing towards or are within 50 m of an area that contains or is likely to contain a dangerous accumulation of water or a dangerous concentration of flammable gas, the working face shall be not more than 5 m in width or 4 m in height.

  • (2) Where any workings in a coal mine are advancing towards or are within 50 m of an area that contains or is likely to contain a dangerous accumulation of water or a dangerous concentration of flammable gas, boreholes shall be bored for the purpose of locating the dangerous accumulation of water or dangerous concentration of gas, as follows:

    • (a) at least one borehole shall be bored near the centre of the working face

      • (i) where the working face is not more than 2.5 m in width or height, to a depth of at least 5 m in advance of the working face, and

      • (ii) where the working face is more than 2.5 m in width or height and not more than 5 m in width or 4 m in height, to a depth of at least 20 m in advance of the working face;

    • (b) at least two boreholes shall be bored near each side of the working face

      • (i) where the working face is not more than 2.5 m in width or height, to a depth of at least 3 m in advance of the working face, and

      • (ii) where the working face is more than 2.5 m in width or height and not more than 5 m in width or 4 m in height, to a depth of at least 12 m in advance of the working face; and

    • (c) where the seam of a working face is 3.5 m thick or more, a borehole shall be bored at an angle of not less than 20° up from the roof of the area where the working face is located

      • (i) where the working face is not more than 2.5 m in width or height, to a depth of at least 5 m in advance of the working face, and

      • (ii) where the working face is more than 2.5 m in width or height and not more than 5 m in width or 4 m in height, to a depth of at least 20 m in advance of the working face.

  • (3) Where a boring referred to in subsection (2) makes contact with a dangerous accumulation of water or a dangerous concentration of flammable gas, a qualified person shall

    • (a) report the accumulation or concentration to the overman;

    • (b) while any work is being performed at the working face, monitor the accumulation or concentration using a locked-flame safety lamp and a methanometer; and

    • (c) take appropriate measures to dissipate the accumulation or concentration.

Solid Measure

 No coal mine shall be worked below the sea bottom or below a body of water or material that may flow, except under the following conditions:

  • (a) a solid barrier of unworked mineral of 50 m or more shall be left between the workings of a submarine lease and any other submarine lease;

  • (b) subject to paragraph (c), where a coal seam or stratified deposit is worked, there shall be a cover of 55 m or more of solid measure; and

  • (c) where a passageway is driven, there shall be a cover of 30 m or more of solid measure.

 
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