On June 10, 2022, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (“MME”) issued Resolution No. 40209, by which it adopted the National Mine Safety Policy (“NMSP”) – 2022 and left without effect the version in force until now, which had been adopted by Resolution No. 181467 of September 9, 2011.
As part of the evaluation of the safety in the mining sector, the MME identified a 40% increase in accidents compared to the figures reports in 2011, of which 82% were caused by geomechanical failures, contaminated or unbreathable atmosphere and explosions.
As a result of the evaluation mentioned before, the MME considered necessary to update the NMSP of 2011, in order to establish specific objectives and goals to create a management strategy of action plan and a correct harmonization in the implementation. The following are the main objectives in the new NMSP:
- 40% reduction in the accidents rates by 2025 and 80% reduction by 2030.
- Implementation of mechanisms and tools for the prevention of accidents through sensibilization and awareness of strategies, including (i) design of guidelines and protocols for the identification and management of risks inherent to mining activities; (ii) creation of incentive and recognition mechanisms for mining operations with high safety performance; and (iii) creation of mechanisms to measure the efficiency of training provided to mining workers.
- Verification of the compliance of obligations and reporting of information, which includes: (i) coordinating joint visits and inspections with the competent authorities to evaluate occupational accidents and illnesses; (ii) making an inventory of mining operations with a history of methane and/or toxic gases, fires, landslides, noncompliance with safety standards or measures, among others; and (iii) designing a tool for accidents reports, which will establish who is responsible for filling out and verifying the information.
- Creation of the National Mining Safety System, which will allow (i) the execution, verification and compliance with the NMSP 2022 and (ii) promote the signing of agreements between the different figures that allow exploitation and the competent authorities for the improvement of mining safety.
- Promote legislative initiatives to define liability in labor, civil, criminal and administrative matters, derived from the occurrence of fatal accidents.
Consequently, according to the deadlines established in the NMSP, the authorities must implement the mechanisms, tools and/or actions necessary to comply with the objectives and goals set forth therein.
Author: Sofía Ángel I [email protected] I Mining / Natural Resources