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(1)Unless, in all parts of a mine that are required by section 55 to be ventilated, ventilation adequate for the purposes specified in subsection (1) of that section is provided wholly by natural means, there shall be provided and maintained on the surface of the mine mechanically operated apparatus capable of producing in all those parts of the mine an amount of ventilation sufficient (apart from any ventilation produced by any mechanically operated apparatus below ground) to enable all the persons who are below ground in the mine at any one time to leave it safely; and any apparatus provided in pursuance of this subsection shall, if it is not normally used to produce ventilation, be used once at least in each week and be kept constantly available for use.
(2)Where (whether in pursuance of subsection (1) or not) there is provided on the surface of a mine of coal mechanically operated apparatus for producing ventilation below ground in the mine, then, unless that apparatus is so designed or adapted, and is so installed, as to permit of its operation both by way of forcing air into, and by way of exhausting air from, the mine, there shall be provided in association with that apparatus, maintained and kept constantly available for use, adequate means for reversing the direction of flow of the ventilation produced by that apparatus.
(3)Subject to subsection (4), regulations may—
(a)exempt any prescribed class of mines from the provisions of subsection (1);
(b)exempt any prescribed class of mines of coal from the provisions of subsection (2);
and[F1 the Executive] may, by notice served on the manager of a particular mine other than of coal, exempt the mine from the provisions of subsection (1) and may, by notice served on the manager of a particular mine of coal, exempt the mine from the provisions of either or both of those subsections.
(4)No exemption shall be granted by regulations made by virtue of subsection (3) unless the Ministry is satisfied that no persons employed in mines of the class to which the regulations apply will be exposed to undue risk in consequence of the granting of the exemption; and no exemption shall be granted under that subsection by[F1 the Executive] in the case of a particular mine unless an inspector reports to[F1 the Executive] that he is satisfied that no persons employed in that mine will be exposed to undue risk in consequence of the granting of the exemption.
(5)It shall not be lawful to use a fire for ventilation in a mine or, except with the consent of[F1 the Executive], given by notice served on the manager of the mine, to release in a mine compressed air for the purpose thereby of diluting or removing inflammable or noxious gas.
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