Types of mines

The type of mine being operated determines the legal duties that apply to both mine operators and employees working at the mine, with additional duties imposed on operators and employees of prescribed mines.



The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) refer to three types of mine:

  1. Mines – which includes where work is being done under a relevant mining licence, including exploratory work as either drilling from the surface for coal-bed methane or working underground
  2. Tourist mines – the mines or parts of a mine operated for tourists. All underground parts of tourist mines are also mines under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and OHS Regulations.
  3. Prescribed mine – usually an underground mine, but also mines determined to be a prescribed mine, or within a class of prescribed mines, by WorkSafe

If there is uncertainty then WorkSafe can determine the type of mine.

Who has legal duties

Employers, self-employed persons, persons who have management or control of a workplace, employees, designers of plant, buildings or structures, manufacturers and suppliers of plant or substances, as well as persons installing, erecting or commissioning plant, all have legal duties under the OHS Act and Regulations.

Part 5.3 of the OHS Regulations imposes specific duties on operators and employees of mines, including tourist and prescribed mines, which must be complied with in addition to the general, overriding duties that are set out in the OHS Act.