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How we work

The UK currently has approximately 118 working sites including 21 licensed underground coal mines employing around 3950 personnel.

The remaining variety of sites include: Miscellaneous, Tourist, Storage, Pumping and Other Mines.

The hazards encountered during underground mining operations include fire, flood, explosion, and collapse. These dangers have the potential to simultaneously affect large numbers of personnel. The risks from the identified major hazards are minimised through continued work between HMIM and the mine operators.

As well as pro-actively dealing with the identified major hazards HMIM have, through a number of committees involving Mine Operators, Unions, Equipment Manufacturers and Consultants, plus other interested parties, worked to improve the personal health of workers in the mining industry. This includes the development of the "Coal Mines (Control of Inhalable Dust) Regulations 2007 which superseded the "Coal Mines (Respirable Dust) Regulations 1975.

As well as responsibility for all UK underground mining operations, in 2006 HMIM assumed inspection and enforcement responsibility for 25 Rail Mounted Cableways and Funicular Railways, many of which involve Victorian engineering designs. HMIM continue to assist the operators of these facilities in improving standards and safety to modern day requirements.

2012-11-27