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The Mines Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Exits from the mine

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48.—(1) The mine operator shall ensure that there are at least two shafts or outlets providing at least two separate exits to the surface.

(2) The shafts or outlets required by paragraph (1) shall be—

(a)of sound construction;

(b)readily accessible to persons below ground at the mine; and

(c)sufficiently separated so that, so far as is reasonably practicable, anything that happens in one of them will not affect the safety of the other or others.

(3) The mine operator shall ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, two exits from the mine are available for use at any time by persons below ground at the mine.

(4) The mine operator shall prepare a suitable written plan of the action to be taken to secure the safety of persons when, due to an unforeseen event or planned maintenance, only one exit is available for use.

(5) If only one exit is available for use, the mine operator shall ensure that—

(a)the plan required by paragraph (4) is implemented; and

(b)the persons below ground are restricted, so far as is reasonably practicable, to those who will not be exposed to danger by reason that only one exit is available for use and who—

(i)are needed to carry out work essential for securing the safety of the mine;

(ii)are involved in work relating to the unforeseen event or planned maintenance;

(iii)at the time the exit became unavailable, were already working below ground, provided they do not remain below ground after their normal period of work has ended; or

(iv)are needed to secure the health or safety of any person.

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