1 About Mines Safety Branch
The Mines Safety Branch is part of the Regulatory Operations Division of the Mineral Resources Authority. It is managed by the Chief Inspector of Mines.
The main objective of the branch is to ensure that all mines in Papua New Guinea (PNG) operate safely and in compliance with the Mining (Safety) Act 1977 And Regulation (“the Act”).
The branch aspires to ensure that the mining industry attains ‘zero harm’ daily. It also facilitates the industry members to improve their safety performance and culture through various organised health and safety promotional initiatives.
2 Functions of the Branch
The core functions include;
- Conducting of inspections
- Conducting of inquiries.
- Issuing of Orders/Directives or Notices.
- Granting of Approvals/Permissions
- Ensuring accident free work areas.
Inspectors conduct on-site inspections and or audits on mines or works to identify hazard(s) that may endanger the health and safety of persons. Inspection/audit can be conducted either announced or unannounced with respect to any mine or works. Particulars of Inspection are to be entered in a book which is kept for that purpose at the mine or works.
Upon receiving intimation on accidents from the agent or manager of a mine, the Chief Inspector appoints an Inspector(s) to conduct an investigation and/or Inquiry into the cause(s) of the accident.
The inquiry report is transmitted to the Minister.
Where an Inspector believes that any provision of this Act or any special rule made under this Act affecting the safety and well-being of any person employed at or about any mine or works is not being observed he may hold an inquiry.
Orders,Directives or Notices are outcomes of Inspection/audit orInquiry.They are issued by an Inspector when it is observed that practices or systems at a mine are non-compliant to the Act or are likely to cause harm.
Approval or permission may be granted after examination of submissions or proposals. Submissions may include any alteration or modification on existing mines or works.
Any violation or contravention to provision(s) of the Act may result in prosecution.
Any person who is aggrieved by a decision,requisition or order of an inspector made under the Act may appeal in writing to the Chief Inspector who shall, as soon as practicable,hear and dispose of the appeal.
The Branch has released various publications, which include;
- The Chief Inspector Of Mines Annual Reports which cover Branch performance and Industry safety and health performance.
- The Chief Inspectors Half Yearly Bulletin, and now the Mines Safety Branch Quarterly Bulletine, covers detailed analysis of reportable incidents.
- Safety Alerts on serious or high potential incidents are communicated to the industry to prevent reoccurance of same or similar incidents.
3.1 Chief Inspector of Mines Annual Report
3.2 Chief Inspector of Mines Half Yearly Bulletin
3.3 Mines Safety Branch Quaterly Bulletin
Below are some of the various Forms that are regularly used by the Branch and the Industry. Others can be accessed in Schedule 1 of the Act.
4.1 Reporting Forms
4.2 Notice Forms