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The Mines Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Inrushes

Precautions against inrushes

33.  The mine operator shall ensure that inrush into any working in a mine of—

(a)gas from disused workings (whether mine workings or not); or

(b)water or material that flows, or is likely to flow when wet, from any source,

is prevented.

Information about inrush hazards

34.—(1) The mine operator shall obtain, so far as is reasonably practicable, all the information which indicates, or tends to indicate, the presence or absence of a potentially hazardous area in the vicinity of any working being carried on, or proposed to be carried on, in the mine.

(2) The mine operator shall ensure that no working is undertaken in the mine in the vicinity of a body of surface water until—

(a)such steps are taken as may be necessary to ascertain the total thickness of the strata lying between the working and the surface water; and

(b)the mine operator is satisfied that the strata are sufficiently reliable to prevent an inrush of water from the surface.

(3) In this regulation—

(a)“body of surface water” means the sea, a lake or river, or any other body of surface water (whether accumulated naturally or not); and

(b)“potentially hazardous area” means—

(i)any disused workings (whether mine workings or not);

(ii)any rock or stratum containing or likely to contain water (whether dispersed or in natural cavities);

(iii)any peat, moss, sand, gravel, silt, or other material that flows or is likely to flow when wet; and

(iv)any body of surface water.

Mine workings in potentially hazardous areas

35.—(1) Before undertaking any working in a mine which would be within—

(a)45 metres (measured in any plane) of—

(i)the surface; or

(ii)any other potentially hazardous area within the meaning of any of sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) of regulation 34(3)(b), except disused mine workings; or

(b)37 metres (measured in any plane) of any disused mine workings,

the mine operator shall assess the risk of the occurrence of an inrush to determine whether precautionary measures are necessary to prevent an inrush.

(2) Where the risk assessment indicates that precautionary measures are necessary, the mine operator shall ensure that the working is not carried on unless—

(a)a suitable scheme of work is prepared which lays down the procedures designed to ensure that an inrush does not occur; and

(b)the procedures required by the scheme are implemented.

(3) The mine operator shall ensure that a copy of the scheme is kept at the mine until the working is completed.

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