Dr Holmes welcomed members to the meeting. Mr Lawton outlined changes within HSE’s policy group with Mr McEwen taking the lead on MLR during August 2014.
The minutes were agreed as a true record of the 11th Meeting held on 6 February 2014.
Mr Denton and Dr Holmes had prepared the draft of the sector strategy document which would be discussed at agenda item 4.
MISLG Working Group progress would be discussed at agenda item 6.
The new mining regulations would come into force on 6 April 2015.
Mr Hoult would update progress with industry guidance on Rockbolting at agenda item 7.
A draft agenda had been prepared and circulated as agreed.
The draft document, revising the sector strategy 2014-17 was introduced and Mr Denton outlined the structure asking members for their initial comments.
In discussion, and notwithstanding any correction of factual data prior to publication, members reviewed Mines Rescue provision during the life of this strategy. Mr Denton considered this aspect required slight revision to better align with potentially future mines rescue scenarios and legislative requirements.
The summary of strategic issues was reviewed and would be re-ordered to include reference to major hazards.
Mr Fox suggested that reference to long hours and three shift working be incorporated into the document to capture issues associated with exposure rate, fatigue, heat and humidity and recovery rates etc.
Messrs Hoult and Fox agreed to consider appropriate text for inclusion.
Action: Mr Hoult/Mr Fox
Some revision of “leadership” would be undertaken in clarification of the objectives. Mr Dunn agreed to consider.
Action: Mr Dunn
Review of “involving the workforce” and other sections requiring attention would be undertaken by Mr Denton.
Action: Mr Denton
An Aim 9, addressing rescue provision, would be included.
Mr Denton requested members’ comments (in tracking mode) by 10 October with a view to recirculation and further consultation and publication by the end of 2014.
Mr Carragher agreed to moderate the revision.
Action: Mr Carragher
Mr Lawton presented details of responses received during the consultation process noting 29 formal responses had been received (5 from one company) across the sector. He noted the majority support for the proposed changes to the legislation resulting in only minor revision being undertaken to the current draft.
Mr McEwen reviewed the HSE and government clearance processes and time frame prior to finalisation and laying in parliament during December 2014, with a view to legislation coming into force on 6 April 2015.
Guidance and supporting regulation required completion by the beginning of October 2014 and substantial work for the development of this material is imminent.
The guidance must be published at least 12 weeks prior to the regulations coming into force; these would be posted on the HSE web page.
The HSE co-ordinating working group had met on 16 July 2014 and developed a plan for guidance completion. This programme would be circulated to the group to inform their attendance at working group meetings.
Action: Mr Hill
MISLG supported this proposal and agreed to input as appropriate, either by email or at meetings. Members would consider their availability and contact Mr Hill to co-ordinate.
Dr Jones drew attention to the MRSL manpower available at July 2014 noting the numbers of permanent and part-time workers in the coal and non coal sectors. He noted the list of current scheme members and availability of emergency mobile winders, one based at Mansfield and the other at Big Pit, with 2 reserves as spares at Thoresby.
Dr Jones said that the Kellingley Mines Rescue Station was currently subject to a month to month lease until any agreement between UK Coal and the government was agreed. He said that following the introduction of the new regulations, MRSL would continue to operate however coal mine operators were not mandated to employ them for mines rescue.
Mr Hoult reported that the guidance had been reviewed and that it contained good information on design, maintenance and use and questioned whether it should be expanded to include all aspects of hydraulic systems. This would be considered further.
Mr Noblett reported that feedback on the document was positive although somewhat prescriptive in style and may not be suitable for the future industry.
This was mostly complete and the principles were correct.
Mr Hoult said that this was good detailed guidance that required formatting into a cohesive document. Mr Hoult detailed a proposed amendment to the document’s layout with referencing to other material and best practise elsewhere in the industry. It was noted that ABMEC had offered to publish the guidance on their website.
Messrs Hoult and Noblett agreed to continue to co-ordinate this work with a view to completing the guidance by the end of 2014.
Action: Messrs Hoult and Noblett
Mr Denton noticed the programme of major hazard interventions undertaken by HMIMs and asked whether members would like details of emerging outcomes presented to a later meeting. Following discussion, this topic would form an agenda item at the next meeting.
Action: Mr Denton
MISLG was requested to consider appointment of a new chairman, following Mr Baines’ resignation. In the interim, Mr Hoult agreed to chair the next meeting. The chairmanship would continue to rotate between sectors and TU with vice chairs being appointed as appropriate.
Wednesday 26 November 2014 – venue to be confirmed.
Dr Holmes closed the meeting and thanked members for their attendance and contributions.