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The Mines Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Shafts, outlets and winding

Shaft construction and modification

36.  The mine operator shall ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the construction and modification of every shaft is planned, designed and carried out so as to be safe and without the risk of injury to any person.

Equipment in relevant shafts and outlets

37.—(1) The mine operator shall provide suitable equipment in any relevant shaft or outlet that may be used for travel by persons.

(2) The mine operator shall—

(a)ensure that it is safe for persons to use the equipment for travel; and

(b)provide written instructions for the safe use of the equipment for travel.

(3) The mine operator shall ensure that a written scheme is in place for the specification, selection and use of a rope in connection with winding apparatus, stipulating the maximum operating life of such a rope and any conditions which may reduce that life.

(4) The mine operator shall ensure that the stipulated maximum operating life is not exceeded unless a competent person has—

(a)carried out a suitable risk assessment;

(b)inspected the rope; and

(c)confirmed that it is safe for the stipulated maximum operating life to be extended and by how much time.

(5) In this regulation, a relevant shaft or outlet is a shaft or outlet in which considerable physical effort is required by persons using it to travel, having regard to the distance to be travelled, the gradient, underfoot conditions and other relevant factors.

Safety features of winding apparatus

38.  The mine operator shall ensure that winding apparatus is suitable and has effective means—

(a)to control the speed and distance of travel of the conveyance or counterweight;

(b)to stop and hold the conveyance or counterweight in a safe manner, in the event of an overwind; and

(c)to monitor the position and movement of every conveyance in a shaft.

Inspection, maintenance and testing

39.—(1) The mine operator shall—

(a)make arrangements for the systematic inspection, maintenance and (where appropriate) testing by competent persons of—

(i)shafts;

(ii)their linings and fixtures; and

(iii)winding apparatus;

(b)prepare and keep up to date a suitable written scheme for the inspection, maintenance and testing required by sub-paragraph (a);

(c)appoint sufficient competent persons to undertake the activities required by this regulation;

(d)ensure that, where appropriate, suitable written reports are made of inspections and that each report records significant defects and the steps taken, or proposed to be taken, to remedy them; and

(e)ensure that any proposed steps in a report are taken, provided they are appropriate.

(2) The mine operator shall ensure that, when winding apparatus is installed or modified, the apparatus is not used for the transport of persons unless—

(a)it has been inspected by a competent person;

(b)it has been found to be safe to use; and

(c)a written report has been made confirming that it is safe to use.

Signalling and communication

40.  In any shaft or outlet in which there is winding apparatus or other equipment, the mine operator shall ensure that there is provided suitable and safe means to communicate and signal, where such means of communication and signalling is necessary to enable the winding apparatus or equipment to be used safely.

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