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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER M-15

AN ACT RESPECTING THE SAFETY OF WORKERS IN MINES

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Staff

4. Powers of chief inspector delegated

5. Investigation

6. Duties and powers of an inspector

7. Plans to be kept up to date

8. Plans sent to the minister

9. Operator to make report

10. Inspector to make report

11. Notice to inspector

12. Operator to appoint manager

13. Duty of operator, manager, etc.

14. Compliance with Act

15. Work let to contractor

16. Abandoned mine

17. Regulations


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Mines Act.

RSN1970 c330 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "authorized" means authorized by the manager to perform a specified duty or to do a specified act;

(b) "chief inspector" means the person appointed under section 3;

(c) "department" means the Department of Mines and Energy;

(d) "inspector" means a person appointed under section 3 and includes the chief inspector;

(e) "manager" means the person responsible to the operator for the control, management, and direction of a mine;

(f) "minister" means the Minister of Mines and Energy;

(g) "operator" means the owner, lessee or occupier of a mine;

(h) "qualified" means properly qualified in the opinion of the manager to perform special duties or do a specified act; and

(i) "shaft" means an opening into a mine or in a mine which is to be used as a passageway for people or materials or services and which is inclined at more than 15 degrees from the horizontal.

RSN1970 c330 s2; 1973 No48 s15; 1987 c28 Sch C; 1989 c23 Sch B

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Staff

3. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a chief inspector who, under the minister, is charged with the administration of this Act and the regulations and who shall hold office during pleasure.

(2) Those inspectors and other officers and employees that are necessary for the proper administration of this Act and the regulations may be appointed or employed in the manner authorized by law, but the minister may, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, temporarily employ technical or other assistants that the minister considers necessary and, with that approval, fix the remuneration of and prescribe the expense which may be incurred by those assistants in carrying out their official duties.

RSN1970 c330 s3

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Powers of chief inspector delegated

4. The powers and duties of the chief inspector under this Act and the regulations may be exercised on his or her behalf by 1 or more of the inspectors designated by the chief inspector for that purpose.

RSN1970 c330 s4

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Investigation

5. (1) In conducting an investigation into a fatal accident the inspector has power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, documents and things, and to take evidence upon oath or affirmation.

(2) The chief inspector shall make a report to the minister describing the circumstances which resulted in the accident.

RSN1970 c330 s9

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Duties and powers of an inspector

6. (1) An inspector shall make an inspection of mines and workshops for the reduction of minerals that the inspector considers necessary to see that this Act and the regulations are being observed.

(2) An inspector may order a manager

(a) to remedy within the time specified by the inspector a state of affairs or a practice which the inspector considers bad or dangerous in the working of a mine or workshop for reducing minerals;

(b) to stop all work immediately; and

(c) to have the mine or workshop vacated until steps satisfactory to the inspector are taken to protect workers.

(3) A person who fails to comply with an order given under subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.

(4) Where an order to stop work made under paragraph (2)(b) is in force the operator, subject to the provisions of a collective agreement, may assign a worker directly affected by the order work that is reasonably equivalent to the work that worker normally performs, but in any case the operator shall continue to pay the worker the wages or salary and grant the worker the benefits that he or she would have received if the order to stop work were not in force.

RSN1970 c330 s10; 1983 c58 s1

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Plans to be kept up to date

7. (1) An operator shall keep the following up to date:

(a) an exact surface plan showing the boundaries of the lands, streams, roads, electric power transmission lines, buildings and other installations;

(b) exact plans with horizontal projection showing at each level all the underground workings including shafts and drifts;

(c) plans showing exactly the geological and geophysical observations and the taking of samples with their mineral content as determined by assay or analysis; and

(d) accurate level plans of all underground workings which shall include

(i) regular survey plans showing the location of grizzlies, ore passes, chutes, explosives magazines and emergency exits,

(ii) ventilation plans,

(iii) pipe service plans showing the location of main air and water valves, and

(iv) electrical survey plans showing the main distribution system.

(2) An operator shall, when required by the minister, make those other plans that are necessary in the opinion of the minister to give a better knowledge of the deposits and the work done in the mines for the protection of the workers and the plans shall be made on a uniform scale as fixed by the minister for each undertaking.

(3) An operator shall keep a register of each diamond boring showing exactly the location, direction, inclination and geological nature of the strata penetrated and the samples taken.

(4) The plans and register referred to in this section may be examined by an inspector or other authorized representative of the minister and the inspector or representative may take notes of his or her findings and copies of the plans and of the register in the course of his or her work of inspection and investigation.

(5) An operator shall on demand by an inspector submit to the inspector a copy of the plans and register referred to in this section.

(6) An operator who fails to comply with a demand made under subsection (5) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200.

RSN1970 c330 s11

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Plans sent to the minister

8. (1) For each mine whose working requires underground works, the operator shall transmit to the minister on or before February 1 in each year a complete and accurate plan drawn up upon a scale approved by the minister, or a certified copy of the plan, of all the underground works existing on December 31 of the preceding year.

(2) In the event of suspension of work in a mine for a period of at least 1 month, the operator shall forward to the minister, within a period of 2 months, unless work is resumed before then, a certified copy of the plans of the underground works existing at the date of cessation of the work.

(3) All plans provided to the minister under this section shall be treated as confidential information for the exclusive use of the inspectors unless the operator gives permission otherwise.

RSN1970 c330 s12

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Operator to make report

9. The operator of a mine shall transmit to the minister on or before February 15 in each year a report showing for the preceding calendar year

(a) the total tonnage mined or produced;

(b) the concentrates obtained from the total tonnage mined or produced;

(c) the average metal content of minerals and concentrates produced and processed;

(d) the places of sale of all products of the mine;

(e) the total number of persons employed in or in connection with the mine;

(f) the total wages and salaries paid; and

(g) the gross value received from the sale of all minerals and concentrates.

RSN1970 c330 s13

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Inspector to make report

10. The chief inspector shall on or before March 31 in each year make a report to the minister with respect to the observance of this Act and the regulations for the preceding year.

RSN1970 c330 s14

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Notice to inspector

11. Where in or about a mine there occurs

(a) a case of overwinding a skip or cage;

(b) a breakage of a rope or cable used for hoisting, not including rope haulage on levels;

(c) an unexpected inrush of water;

(d) an outbreak of fire below ground; or

(e) a premature or unexpected explosion,

whether or not loss of life or personal injury is caused by it, the manager shall, within the next 24 hours after the manager is aware of the occurrence, send written notice of the occurrence to the chief inspector and shall provide those particulars that may help an inspector in making an inquiry into the circumstances.

RSN1970 c330 s15

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Operator to appoint manager

12. The operator of a mine shall appoint a manager who shall be responsible for the control, management and direction of the mine.

RSN1970 c330 s16

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Duty of operator, manager, etc.

13. (1) The operator and manager are responsible for the enforcement of, and shall take all necessary and reasonable measures to enforce, this Act and the regulations and to ensure that they are observed by employees of the mine, and a supervisor, shift-boss, mine captain and department head shall take all necessary and reasonable measures to enforce those provisions of this Act and the regulations that are applicable to the work over which he or she has supervision and to ensure that they are observed by the workers under his or her charge and direction.

(2) A worker shall take all necessary and reasonable measures to carry out his or her duties in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations that are applicable to the work on which he or she is engaged.

(3) A person through whose neglect or wrongful act a breach of this Act or the regulations occurs is guilty of an offence.

(4) An operator or a manager who fails to comply with this Act and the regulations is guilty of an offence.

(5) The manager of a working mine shall appoint a suitable person who shall be responsible during the manager's absence for taking all necessary and reasonable measures to enforce subsections (1) and (2).

RSN1970 c330 s18

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Compliance with Act

14. The operator shall provide the manager with all necessary means and shall afford the manager every facility for complying with this Act and the regulations.

RSN1970 c330 s19

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Work let to contractor

15. Where work in or about a mine is let to a contractor or subcontractor, the contractor or subcontractor shall comply and enforce compliance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations that are applicable to the work over which the contractor or subcontractor has control, and is in a case of non-compliance with this Act and the regulations guilty of an offence and punishable in the same manner as if the contractor or subcontractor were the operator or manager.

RSN1970 c330 s20

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Abandoned mine

16. (1) Where a mine is abandoned or the work in a mine is discontinued, the operator shall ensure that the top of the shaft and all entrances from the surface as well as all other pits and openings dangerous because of their depth or other conditions are kept securely fenced to the satisfaction of an inspector.

(2) An operator who fails to comply with subjection (1) or who, after written notice from an inspector, fails to comply with the inspector's directions as to the fencing within the time named in the notice is guilty of an offence.

(3) Where an inspector finds that fencing is required in order to avoid danger to health or property the inspector may do the work at the expense of the department and that expense with interest is a lien and charge upon the mine or mining work, of which notice in a form that the minister may decide may be registered in the department and no further transfer or other dealings with the mine or mining work shall take place or be legal until the expense, with interest, has been paid.

(4) The expense and interest referred to in subsection (3) is a debt due from the operator to the Crown and is recoverable at the suit of an inspector in a court of summary jurisdiction.

RSN1970 c330 s21

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Regulations

17. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations to give effect to the purpose of this Act and the regulations may provide penalties for breaches of this Act or the regulations or orders issued under this Act or the regulations.

1984 c24 s6

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