The following operations are referred to collectively as ‘mining operations’ in the regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act. Some of the requirements apply to all mining operations, while others only apply to certain types of operation.

The mining health and safety regime applies to:


  • Underground and opencast coal mines
  • Underground and opencast metalliferous mines, and alluvial gold and ironsand operations to a limited extent


  • Tunnelling operations,except those that are excluded tunnelling operations:
    • Not more than two workers ordinarily work below ground at any one time, and
    • Explosives are not used below ground at the operation, and
    • The operation relates to a tunnel or shaft that is, or is intended to be, no more than 15 metres long, and
    • The concentration of methane is not likely to be more than 0.25 per cent of the general body of air in the working area at the operation.


Some requirements also apply to quarries, clay pits, alluvial gold and ironsand operations:

  • The regulations set out the competency requirements for the managers of quarries and alluvial gold and ironsand operations
  • People obtaining these competencies are subject to the new Board of Examiners process, and
  • Quarries, clay pits and alluvial and ironsand operations must also comply with aspects of the revised electricity regulations.(external link)

Health and safety guidance for the quarrying industry is being developed. This will be supplemented by quarry-specific regulations in the longer term.