UGC NET Study Notes on Mines Act, 1952 – Part 1

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 14th, 2023

The Mines Act, 1952 deals with the regulation of labour and safety in mines.

  • It extends to the whole of India.
  • It came into force on 1st July 1952.

Important points

1) A person is said to be employed in a mine who works as the manager or who works under the owner, agent or manager of the mine, whether for wages or not:

  • In any mining operation.
  • In operations or services relating to the development of the mine.
  • In operating, servicing, maintaining or repairing any part of any machinery.
  • In operations, within the premises of the mine, of loading for despatch of minerals.
  • In any office of the mine.
  • In any welfare, health, sanitary or conservancy, services required to be provided under this Act.
  • In any kind of work connected with mining operations.

2) Inspector (Section 2(i)) refers to an Inspector of Mines appointed under this Act and includes a district magistrate.

3) Minerals (Section 2(jj)) refer to the substances (including mineral oils, natural gas and petroleum) that can be obtained from the earth by the following processes:

  • Mining
  • Digging
  • Drilling
  • Dredging
  • Hydraulicing
  • Quarrying
  • Any other operation

4) If the work of the same kind is carried out by two or more sets of persons working in different periods of the day, then each of such sets is called a relay. Each period is called a shift.

5) A person is said to be working below ground if he is working or employed:

  • in a shaft which has been or is in the course of being sunk or
  • in any excavation which extends below superjacent ground.

6) A person is said to be working above ground if he is working in an open cast working or in any other manner not specified above.

7) Except those contained in sections 7, 8, 9, 40, 45 and 46, the provisions of this act shall not apply to:

  • Any mine in which excavation is being made for prospecting purposes and not for obtaining minerals for use or sale provided that:
  • Not more than twenty persons are employed on any one day in any such excavation.
  • If measured from its highest to the lowest point, the depth of the excavation nowhere exceeds six metres or in the case of coal, fifteen metres.
  • The excavation work shall not extend below superjacent ground.
  • Any mine engaged in the extraction of kankar, murrum, laterite, boulder, gravel, shingle, ordinary sand (excluding moulding sand, glass sand and other mineral sands), ordinary clay (excluding kaolin, china clay, white clay or fire clay), building stone, slate, road metal, earth, fullers earth, marl, chalk and limestone, provided that:
  • The work does not extend below superjacent ground.
  • If it is an open cast working, the depth of the excavation nowhere exceeds six metres, the number of employed persons does not exceed fifty and explosives are not to be used in the excavation process.

8) The Central Government may appoint chief inspector and inspectors.

  • If any person is directly or indirectly interested in any mine or mining rights in India, he shall not be appointed or continue as the chief inspector or an Inspector.
  • The district magistrate may perform the duties of an inspector but not the powers conferred by section 22 or section 22A or section 61.

9) Qualified medical practitioners shall be appointed as certifying surgeons by the central government.

  • If any person is the owner, agent, manager of a mine or is directly or indirectly interested in any mine or in any process or business, he shall not be appointed or continue as the certifying surgeon.
  • The certifying surgeon shall examine the persons engaged in a mine in the prescribed dangerous occupations, exercise medical supervision for any prescribed mine in the cases of illness due to the nature of any process carried on or other prevailing working conditions.

10) The Central Government shall constitute committees for the purposes of this act. The composition of the committee is as follows:

  • A person in the government service (not being the Chief Inspector or an Inspector) shall be appointed as chairman by the central government.
  • The Chief Inspector of Mines.
  • Two persons shall be appointed by the central government to represent the interests of miners (at least one person shall represent coal mine workers).
  • Two persons shall be appointed by the central government to represent the interests of owners of mines (at least one person shall represent coal mine owners).
  • Two qualified mining engineers who are not directly employed in the mining industry shall be appointed by the central government.

11) In every mine, arrangements shall be made to provide cool and wholesome drinking water at suitable points for all the employed persons and the points shall be legibly marked DRINKING WATER in a language understood by a majority of the persons.

  • No point shall be within six meters of any washing place, urinal or latrine unless approved by the chief inspector.

12) A first-aid room with the prescribed equipment, medical and nursing staff shall be provided in every mine wherein more than one hundred and fifty persons are employed.

13) If the medical practitioner attends and believes that a person working in a mine is suffering from any notified disease, the medical practitioner shall send a report in writing to the chief inspector stating the name and address of the patient, the disease and the name and address of the mine. 

  • If any medical practitioner fails to report, he shall be punishable with a maximum fine of fifty rupees.

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