Ireland’s government has launched new health and safety regulations governing the nation’s mining industry.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Mines) Regulations 2018 are aimed at avoiding fatalities and injuries in the sector and involve a consolidation and streamlining of 21 pieces of health and safety legislation into one document, RTE News reported.
The regulations cover vehicle and traffic rules, ventilation, emergency rules and procedures, hoisting, inspection, mines training, health and safety operations procedures. rescue work, and the transportation of explosives. They are intended to set out clear duties and chains of responsibility for mine owners, operators and managers, and increase reporting obligations for dangerous occurrences.
They were launched at the Boliden Tara Mines site in Co Meath where Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen noted that the simplified regulations would make compliance much easier, and support the development of Ireland's mineral resources in a socially responsible manner.
Pat Griffin, senior inspector for mines and quarries with the Health and Safety Authority, noted that safety and health standards in the Irish underground mining industry had generally improved over time, adding that it can be a safe and rewarding career choice when operators, contractors and workers take on their responsibilities as set out in the new regulations.