System study and Safety Audit for the purpose of eliminating the Risk of Accidents

Directorate General of Mines Safety

DGMS (Tech)/Circular No.8 Dhanbad, Dated 01.05.2009


The Owner! Agent/Manager of all Coal,  Metalliferous, and Oil Mines.

Sub. :System study and Safety Audit for the purpose of eliminating the Risk of Accidents & Dangerous  Occurrences.

You all are aware that the incidence of accidents and dangerous occurrences are taking place in every type of mines whether small or big, organised or un-organised. Ultimately, it leads to human sufferings and loss of properties. The Directorate General of Mines Safety since its inception is trying its best to see that such occurrences do not occur and the valuable lives and properties are saved .

Whenever there occurs an accident, disaster or any dangerous occurrence, an investigation is made both at the mine management as well as DGMS level. Cause of such occurrence are found out and remedial measures suggested to prevent recurrence of such accident or disaster. However, it has been observed that such preventive measures are not properly implemented nor a recheck done in other mines to see that. such situations and conditions which lead to such accidents or disasters do not exist.

When a mine becomes very large, the system to produce the required quantity of mineral also becomes complex and dynamic. In case of such mines, it becomes necessary to study the system in details with all its components and parameters to find out the defects or flaws. A single person or group of persons may not be well equipped to know the defects in the system, therefore it becomes necessary to engage such number of competent persons or experts on various subjects who can really find out the faults and suggest remedial measures. In such cases, it becomes a job of experts comprising of multi disciplines and subjects. With this objective in view, it became necessary to carry out Risk assessment and safety Management studies and prepare a Safety Management plan to ensure that the risk to injuries and loss of time and properties are eliminated and kept in control. A Technical Circular No. 13 of 2002 giving details and guidelines of such studies have already been circulated in the past but the progress made on this issue is minimal and not encouraging.

Safety Audit is an integrated component of Risk Assessment and Safety Management, which is required to be undertaken every year and on occurrence of every accident or dangerous occurrence. However, it is also required that the Team which conducts such System Study and Safety Audit should comprise of eminent persons from various fields of operation and are kept update about the latest tools and technique prevailing in the industry not only in India but world over. It has been observed many a times that a single person retired from the industry conducts the safety audit and prepares the report entirely based on his experience and exposure without bringing in any new facts or instrument to deal with certain difficult situation and thus such studies do not yield any tangible results.

Therefore, it is recommended that :-

  1. DGMS recognized Service Providers may be engaged is System Study Audit work to be under taken at any mine.

  1. Such Third Party System Study and Safety Audit (SYSSA) should be conducted at least once in every year, after every major accident or disaster or dangerous occurrence, before implementation of any new technology or use of any new system or machinery in the mine.

  1. Such Study may be subject wise as well as an integrated report of the mine incorporating all subjects such as mining, mechanical, , electrical, personal, occupational Health & Hygiene, and any other subject applicable to the mine and the system prevailing or to be used therein.

  1. The study report should be discussed in a Tripartite forum at mine level, area level and also at company level to know the high risk areas and implement the preventive measure plans so that the efforts are directed to yield desired results in timely and sustained manner.

  2. One of the Inspecting  Officers from every discipline from DGMS should be involved in such system study and safety audit programme to contribute and arrive at certain valuable decision.

  1. Annual system study and safety audit report of every mine after finalization in the company should be submitted to DGMS for information and suggestion.

  1. The action taken report on the system study and safety audit report should also be prepared and submitted to the company as well as to DGMS including the Trade Unions having major or prominent representation in the mine.

Risk Reduction Programme (RRP) is an ongoing process to achieve Zero Harm Status of Safety in any mine and it is expected that all the persons, organization, unions, agencies involved directly or indirectly in mining and allied business would cooperate and help achieve this goal of the DGMS and all mining Companies.

Yours faithfully

Director General of Mines Safety

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