R183 Recommendation concerning Safety and Health in Mines

Geneva, 22 giugno 1995

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Eighty-second Session on 6 June 1995, and
Noting the relevant international labour Conventions and Recommendations and, in particular, the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957; the Radiation Protection Convention and Recommendation, 1960; the Guarding of Machinery Convention and Recommendation, 1963; the Employment Injury Benefits Convention and Recommendation, 1964; the Minimum Age (Underground Work) Convention and Recommendation, 1965; the Medical Examination of Young Persons (Underground Work) Convention, 1965; the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention and Recommendation, 1977; the Occupational Safety and Health Convention and Recommendation, 1981; the Occupational Health Services Convention and Recommendation, 1985; the Asbestos Convention and Recommendation, 1986; the Safety and Health in Construction Convention and Recommendation, 1988; the Chemicals Convention and Recommendation, 1990; and the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention and Recommendation, 1993, and
Considering that workers have a need for, and a right to, information, training and genuine consultation on and participation in the preparation and implementation of safety and health measures concerning the hazards and risks they face in the mining industry, and
Recognizing that it is desirable to prevent any fatalities, injuries or ill health affecting workers or members of the public or damage to the environment arising from mining operations, and
Having regard to the need for cooperation between the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other relevant institutions and noting the relevant instruments, codes of practice, codes and guidelines issued by these organizations, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to safety and health in mines, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Safety and Health in Mines Convention;
adopts this twenty-second day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Safety and Health in Mines Recommendation, 1995:

I. General provisions

1. The provisions of this Recommendation supplement those of the Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (hereafter referred to as "the Convention"), and should be applied in conjunction with them.
2. This Recommendation applies to all mines.
3. (1) In the light of national conditions and practice and after consultation with the most representative organizations of employers and workers concerned, a Member should formulate, carry out and periodically review a coherent policy on safety and health in mines.
(2) The consultations provided for by Article 3 of the Convention should include consultations with the most representative organizations of employers and workers on the effect of the length of working hours, night work and shift work on workers' safety and health. After such consultations, the Member should take the necessary measures in relation to working time and, in particular, to maximum daily working hours and minimum daily rest periods.
4. The competent authority should have properly qualified and trained staff with the appropriate skills, and sufficient technical and professional support, to inspect, investigate, assess and advise on the matters dealt with in the Convention and to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations.
5. Measures should be taken to encourage and promote:
(a) research into and exchange of information on safety and health in mines at the national and international level;
(b) specific assistance by the competent authority to small mines with a view to:
(i) assisting in transfer of technical know-how;
(ii) establishing preventive safety and health programmes; and
(iii) encouraging cooperation and consultation between employers and workers and their representatives; and
(c) programmes or systems for the rehabilitation and reintegration of workers who have sustained occupational injuries or illnesses.
6. Requirements relating to the supervision of safety and health in mines pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 2, of the Convention should, where appropriate, include those concerning:
(a) certification and training;
(b) inspection of the mine, mining equipment and installations;
(c) supervision of the handling, transportation, storage and use of explosives and of hazardous substances used or produced in the mining process;
(d) performance of work on electrical equipment and installations; and
(e) supervision of workers.
7. Requirements pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 4, of the Convention, could provide that the suppliers of equipment, appliances, hazardous products and substances to the mine should ensure their compliance with national standards on safety and health, label products clearly and provide comprehensible information and instructions.
8. Requirements relating to mine rescue and first aid pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 4(a), of the Convention and to appropriate medical facilities for emergency care could cover:
(a) organizational arrangements;
(b) equipment to be provided;
(c) standards for training;
(d) training of workers and participation in drills;
(e) the appropriate number of trained persons to be available;
(f) an appropriate communication system;
(g) an effective system to give warning of danger;
(h) provision and maintenance of means of escape and rescue;
(i) establishment of a mine rescue team or teams;
(j) periodic medical assessment of suitability of, and regular training for, the persons on the mine rescue team or teams;
(k) medical attention and transportation to receive medical attention, both at no cost to workers who have suffered an injury or illness at the workplace;
(l) coordination with local authorities;
(m) measures to promote international cooperation in this field.
9. Requirements pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 4(b), of the Convention, could cover the specifications and standards of the type of self-rescuers to be provided and, in particular, in the case of mines susceptible to gas outbursts and other mines where appropriate, the provision of self-contained respiratory devices.
10. National laws and regulations should prescribe measures for the safe use and maintenance of remote control equipment.
11. National laws and regulations should specify that the employer should take appropriate measures for the protection of workers working alone or in isolation.

II. Preventive and protective measures at the mine

12. Employers should undertake hazard assessment and risk analysis and then develop and implement, where appropriate, systems to manage the risk.
13. In order to maintain the stability of the ground, in accordance with Article 7(c) of the Convention, the employer should take all appropriate measures to:
(a) monitor and control the movement of strata;
(b) as may be necessary, provide effective support of the roof, sides and floor of the mine workings, except for those areas where the mining methods selected allow for the controlled collapse of the ground;
(c) monitor and control the sides of surface mines to prevent material from falling or sliding into the pit and endangering workers; and
(d) ensure that dams, lagoons, tailings and other such impoundments are adequately designed, constructed and controlled to prevent dangers from sliding material or collapse.
14. Pursuant to Article 7(d) of the Convention, separate means of egress should be as independent of each other as possible; arrangements should be made and equipment provided for the safe evacuation of workers in case of danger.
15. Pursuant to Article 7(f) of the Convention, all underground mine workings to which workers have access, and other areas as necessary, should be ventilated in an appropriate manner to maintain an atmosphere:
(a) in which the risk of explosions is eliminated or minimized;
(b) in which working conditions are adequate, having regard to the working method being used and the physical demands placed on the workers; and
(c) that complies with national standards on dusts, gases, radiation and climatic conditions; where national standards do not exist, the employer should give consideration to international standards.
16. The particular hazards referred to in Article 7(g) of the Convention requiring an operating plan and procedures might include:
(a) mine fires and explosions;
(b) gas outbursts;
(c) rockbursts;
(d) an inrush of water or semi-solids;
(e) rockfalls;
(f) susceptibility of areas to seismic movements;
(g) hazards related to work carried out near dangerous openings or under particularly difficult geological circumstances;
(h) loss of ventilation.
17. Measures that employers could take pursuant to Article 7(h) of the Convention should include, where applicable, prohibiting persons from carrying underground any item, object or substance which could initiate a fire, explosion or dangerous occurrence.
18. Pursuant to Article 7(i) of the Convention, mine facilities should include, where appropriate, sufficient fireproof and self-contained chambers to provide refuge for workers in the event of an emergency. The self-contained chambers should be easily identifiable and accessible, particularly when visibility is poor.
19. The emergency response plan referred to in Article 8 of the Convention might include:
(a) effective site emergency plans;
(b) provision for the cessation of work and evacuation of the workers in an emergency;
(c) adequate training in emergency procedures and in the use of equipment;
(d) adequate protection of the public and the environment;
(e) provision of information to, and consultation with, appropriate bodies and organizations.
20. The hazards referred to in Article 9 of the Convention might include:
(a) airborne dusts;
(b) flammable, toxic, noxious and other mine gases;
(c) fumes and hazardous substances;
(d) exhaust fumes from diesel engines;
(e) oxygen deficiency;
(f) radiation from rock strata, equipment or other sources;
(g) noise and vibration;
(h) extreme temperatures;
(i) high levels of humidity;
(j) insufficient lighting or ventilation;
(k) hazards related to work carried out at high altitudes or extreme depths, or in confined spaces;
(l) hazards associated with manual handling;
(m) hazards related to mechanical equipment and electrical installations;
(n) hazards resulting from a combination of any of the above.
21. The measures referred to in Article 9 of the Convention might include:
(a) technical and organizational measures applied to relevant mining activities, or to the plant, machinery, equipment, appliances or structures;
(b) where it is not possible to have recourse to the measures referred to in (a) above, other effective measures, including the use of personal protective equipment and protective clothing at no cost to the worker;
(c) where reproductive health hazards and risks have been identified, training and special technical and organizational measures, including the right to alternative work, where appropriate, without any loss of salary, especially during health risk periods such as pregnancy and breast-feeding;
(d) regular monitoring and inspection of areas where hazards are present or likely to be present.
22. The types of protective equipment and facilities referred to in Article 9(c) of the Convention could include:
(a) roll-over and falling object protective structures;
(b) equipment seat belts and harnesses;
(c) fully enclosed pressurized cabins;
(d) self-contained rescue chambers;
(e) emergency showers and eye wash stations.
23. In implementing Article 10(b) of the Convention, employers should:
(a) ensure appropriate inspections of each workplace at the mine, and in particular, of the atmosphere, ground conditions, machinery, equipment and appliances therein, including where necessary pre-shift inspections; and
(b) keep written records of inspections, defects and corrective measures and make such records available at the mine.
24. Where appropriate, the health surveillance referred to in Article 11 of the Convention should, at no cost to the worker and without any discrimination or retaliation whatsoever:
(a) provide the opportunity to undergo medical examination related to the requirements of the tasks to be performed, prior to or just after commencing employment and thereafter on a continuing basis; and
(b) provide, where possible, for reintegration or rehabilitation of workers unable to undertake their normal duties due to occupational injury or illness.
25. Pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 4(e), of the Convention, employers should, where appropriate, provide and maintain at no cost to the worker:
(a) sufficient and suitable toilets, showers, wash-basins and changing facilities which are, where appropriate, gender-specific;
(b) adequate facilities for the storage, laundering and drying of clothes;
(c) adequate supplies of potable drinking-water in suitable places; and
(d) adequate and hygienic facilities for taking meals.

III. Rights and duties of workers and their representatives

26. Pursuant to Article 13 of the Convention, workers and their safety and health representatives should receive or have access to, where appropriate, information which should include:
(a) where practicable, notice of any safety or health related visit to the mine by the competent authority;
(b) reports of inspections conducted by the competent authority or the employer, including inspections of machinery or equipment;
(c) copies of orders or instructions issued by the competent authority in respect of safety and health matters;
(d) reports of accidents, injuries, instances of ill health and other occurrences affecting safety and health prepared by the competent authority or the employer;
(e) information and notices on all hazards at work including hazardous, toxic or harmful materials, agents or substances used at the mine;
(f) any other documentation concerning safety and health that the employer is required to maintain;
(g) immediate notification of accidents and dangerous occurrences; and
(h) any health studies conducted in respect of hazards present in the workplace.
27. Provisions to be made pursuant to Article 13, paragraph 1(e), of the Convention could include requirements for:
(a) notification of supervisors and safety and health representatives of the danger referred to in that provision;
(b) participation by senior representatives of the employer and representatives of the workers in endeavouring to resolve the issue;
(c) participation, where necessary, by a representative of the competent authority to assist in resolution of the issue;
(d) non-loss of pay for the worker and, where appropriate, assignment to suitable alternative work;
(e) notification, to be given to any worker who is requested to perform work in the area concerned, of the fact that another worker has refused to work there and of the reasons therefor.
28. Pursuant to Article 13, paragraph 2, of the Convention, the rights of safety and health representatives should include, where appropriate, the right:
(a) to appropriate training during working time, without loss of pay, on their rights and functions as safety and health representatives and on safety and health matters;
(b) of access to appropriate facilities necessary to perform their functions;
(c) to receive their normal pay for all time spent exercising their rights and performing their functions as safety and health representatives; and
(d) to assist and advise workers who have removed themselves from a workplace because they believe their safety or health has been endangered.
29. Safety and health representatives should, where appropriate, give reasonable notice to the employer of their intention to monitor or investigate safety and health matters, as provided for in Article 13, paragraph 2(b)(ii), of the Convention.
30. (1) All persons should have a duty to:
(a) refrain from arbitrarily disconnecting, changing or removing safety devices fitted to machinery, equipment, appliances, tools, plant and buildings; and
(b) use such safety devices correctly.
(2) Employers should have a duty to provide workers with appropriate training and instructions so as to enable them to comply with the duties described in subparagraph (1) above.

IV. Cooperation

31. Measures to encourage cooperation as provided for in Article 15 of the Convention should include:
(a) the establishment of cooperative mechanisms such as safety and health committees, with equal representation of employers and workers, and having such powers and functions as may be prescribed, including powers to conduct joint inspections;
(b) the appointment by the employer of suitably qualified and experienced persons to promote safety and health;
(c) the training of workers and their safety and health representatives;
(d) the provision of ongoing safety and health awareness programmes for workers;
(e) the ongoing exchange of information and experience on safety and health in mines;
(f) the consultation of workers and their representatives by the employer in establishing safety and health policy and procedures; and
(g) the inclusion, by the employer, of workers' representatives in the investigation of accidents and dangerous occurrences, as provided in Article 10(d) of the Convention.

V. Other provisions

32. There should be no discrimination or retaliation against any worker who exercises rights provided by national laws and regulations or agreed upon by the employers, workers and their representatives.
33. Due regard should be given to the possible impact of mining activity on the surrounding environment and on the safety of the public. In particular, this should include the control of subsidence, vibration, fly-rock, harmful contaminants in the water, air or soil, the safe and effective management of waste tips and the rehabilitation of mine sites.

C105 Convenzione sull’abolizione del lavoro forzato, 25 giugno 1957
C115 Convention concerning the Protection of Workers against Ionising Radiations, 22 giugno 1960
C119 Convenzione sulla protezione dalle macchine, 25 giugno 1963
C121 Convention concerning Benefits in the Case of Employment Injury, 8 luglio 1964
C123 Convenzione sull’età minima di ammissione ai lavori sotterranei nelle miniere, 22 giugno 1965
C124 Convenzione sull’esame medico attitudinale degli adolescenti per l’impiego in lavori sotterranei nelle miniere, 23 giugno 1965
C148 Convenzione relativa alla protezione dei lavoratori contro i rischi professionali dovuti all’inquinamento dell’aria, ai rumori e alle vibrazioni sui luoghi di lavoro, 20 giugno 1977
C155 Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 22 giugno 1981
C161 Convention concerning Occupational Health Services, 25 giugno 1985
C162 Convention concerning Safety in the Use of Asbestos, 24 giugno 1986
C167 Convention concerning Safety and Health in Construction, 20 giugno 1988
C170 Convenzione concernente la sicurezza nell’utilizzazione dei prodotti chimici sul lavoro, 25 giugno 1990
C174 Convention concerning the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 22 giugno 1993
R114 Recommendation concerning the Protection of Workers against Ionising Radiations, 22 giugno 1960
R118 Recommendation concerning the Guarding of Machinery, 25 giugno 1963
R121 Recommendation concerning Benefits in the Case of Employment Injury, 8 luglio 1964
R124 Recommendation concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment Underground in Mines, 22 giugno 1965
R156 Recommendation concerning the Protection of Workers against Occupational Hazards in the Working Environment Due to Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration, 20 giugno 1977
R164 Recommendation concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 22 giugno 1981
R171 Recommendation Concerning Occupational Health Services, 26 giugno 1985
R175 Recommendation concerning safety and health in construction, 21 giugno 1988
R177 Recommendation concerning Safety in the use of Chemicals at Work, 25 giugno 1990
R181 Recommendation concerning the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 22 giugno 1993

Fonte: ILO