Lexis® Practical Guidance: Mine Health & Safety

Why Lexis® Practical Guidance: Mine Health & Safety?

Lexis® Practical Guidance Mine Health and Safety is an online reference tool that focuses on the legislation, processes and procedures that regulate the health and safety of employees and other persons undertaking work on mines.

This practice area comprehensively covers the investigation and reporting of incidents, the holding of inquiries as well as appealing the decisions of inspectors under the Mine Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996. It also deals with the processes of inquests and joint inquiries and inquests as well as guidance on claiming compensation in terms of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act 78 of 1973 and related legislation. Lexis® Practical Guidance Mine Health and Safety is the ideal solution for legal advisors, directors and mine officials to ensure compliance at all times.

With Lexis® Practical Guidance: Mine Health & Safety you get:

Convenient online access to:
  • 29 Topic Overviews and over 110 Guidance Notes
  • More than 40 Forms, Precedents and Checklists – ensuring not a single step is missed
  • Legislation & Case Law – access to relevant cases at the click of a button
  • Practice Directives – practical advice on how to interpret the rules of court
  • Other useful resources such as external websites and additional readings

Guidance on each step taken in Income Mine Health & Safety:
  • MHS law - Purpose, scope and institutional framework
  • The MHS Inspectorate
  • Department of Mineral Resources
  • Scope of the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) application
  • Rights and duties of employers and employees
  • Duties of manufacturers and suppliers
  • Statutory appointments and management of MHS
  • MHS representatives and committees
  • MHSA investigation and reporting
  • Inquiries in terms of section 65 of the MHSA
    - Preparations, procedures and outcomes
  • Compulsory, discretionary and NPA investigations
  • Inquests and joint inquiry and inquest
  • Offences and penalties under the MHSA
  • Criminal and common law offences and penalties
  • Appealing the decisions of Inspectors
  • Selected areas of industry concern
    - Types of work contributing to exposure
    - Emergency response preparedness
  • Occupational diseases in the mines and works act
  • Asbestos regulations
  • Claiming compensation

Guidance Notes

Useful reference material that offers direct access to relevant case law, legislation and commentary works, and practical know-how on specific areas within Mine Health and Safety.
A few key guidance notes are outlined below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

Steps in Reporting Accidents

The employer has an obligation to report any accident resulting in death or injury to the Principal Inspector of Mines. The employer has to report these accidents within the stipulated time periods prescribed and ensure that the forms provided by the Mine Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996 (MHSA) and applicable regulations are completed and submitted timeously. The failure of an employer to report an accident constitutes an offence in terms of the MHSA.

This guidance note is relevant to senior mine officials as it provides:

  • Guidance on when and how accidents are to be reported.
  • Users with all 9 of the different SAMRASS forms that are to be used when reporting accidents.
    - These SAMRASS forms are the specific forms that need to be utilised by the employer when a reportable accident or dangerous occurrence has taken place at the mine. For example, rockbursts and fall of ground accidents must be reported on a SAMRASS 3 form.

Criminal Prosecution

This guidance note investigates the three possible routes available for criminal prosecution for a fatal accident, i.e. an investigation conducted by the South African Police Services, the outcome of an inquest, or a recommendation made by the presiding officer on the completion of an inquiry.

It also discusses the NPA's discretionary right to decide whether or not to prosecute and the fact that a representative of the accused person may make representations on behalf of the accused requesting for the charges to be withdrawn.

It is relevant to associates and senior associates as it provides guidance on how they can go about representing and defending their clients in instances where they are being criminally pursued.

Precedents that are provided include:

  • Letter to NPA regarding representations: a letter that an accused or his/hers/its representative would address to the National Director of Public Prosecutors (NDPP) informing him/her of the accused's intention to make representations in terms of his/hers/its defence as per the prosecution policy.
  • Representations to the directorate of public prosecutions: the actual representation(s) made to the NDPP.

Right to Appeal Chief Inspector of Mine's Decision

The Chief Inspector of Mines (Chief Inspector) is empowered to make various decisions in terms of the MHSA. Any person who is adversely affected by the decision made by the Chief Inspector can launch a judicial appeal against that decision to the Labour Court of South Africa.

This guidance note:

  • Clearly details the right of appeal and the appeal procedure when an aggrieved party is ensuing an appeal application in light of a decision taken by the Chief Inspector.
  • Is relevant to practitioners and senior mine officials alike as it provides guidance on what needs to be done in instances where the Chief Inspector has made a decision that is adverse to the mine's interests.

Practical Aids

Precedents, checklists and forms that can be used to offer advice confidently and execute tasks accurately.
A few key resources are listed below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

  • Health and safety policy document
    - Outlines the various attributes with regard to health and safety that are to be applied at a mine.
    - The establishment of this policy is mandatory as section 8 of the MHSA places an obligation on employers to do so.
  • Draft code of practice
    - Codes of practice play an important role in the day-to-day practical implementation of health and safety systems at mines, thereby giving effect to the MHSA.
    - These codes are drafted so as to put processes in place with relation to how certain things must be done/run at a mine.
  • Appeal in terms of s57(1) of the MHSA Act 29 of 1996
  • Mine health and safety training checklist
  • Material safety data sheet (MSDS)
    - Hazardous substances are explosive and chemical substances can have a detrimental effect on health and safety. Information must be provided about the hazardous chemical substance.
    - An MSDS must be requested by the employer.
    - It bears all the pertinent information about a specific hazardous substance.
  • Health and safety agreement
  • Section 11(5) MHSA: Internal investigation report
  • Minimum standards of fitness to perform work on a mine checklist
  • Explanation of the application of COIDA and ODMWA to compensation for occupational injuries and diseases
  • Form DMR276 - Employee record of hazardous work


  Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s global mining group is internationally recognised as a leading legal practice in the sector, providing tailored advice to prominent players throughout the mining industry. With lawyers based in more than 50 offices worldwide, they are able to assemble a legal team from multiple practice areas who offer a wealth of experience in mining transactions and mining disputes in every major mining region of the world.

Norton Rose Fulbright acts for a range of major international financial institutions, mining houses and global corporate leaders who value their experience in the sector and their ability to provide local market knowledge when needed. Their market-leading reputation has enabled them to advise on some of the industry’s largest and most innovative mining transactions and they are particularly well known for their work in leveraged finance deals for mining developments, including complex syndications.

Mining companies and financial institutions also rely on their help to resolve all manner of high-risk, complex and sensitive mining disputes. Their mining lawyers understand the risks and political intricacies inherent in carrying out mining operations , particularly in difficult jurisdictions. Their key areas of strength include international arbitration, regulations and investigations, business ethics and anti-corruption, and transnational litigation, all of which can significantly affect industry stakeholders.

Time is scarce and the law is ever changing. Keeping pace with the shifts is a job unto itself but, chances are, it is not your only job. 

Curated by top South African legal experts, LexisNexis® Practical Guidance™ helps you navigate dynamic legal terrain by delivering practical aids for your everyday concerns in one convenient platform .

It saves you time and energy so you can focus on the expertise that only you have.

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