[Rev. 11/21/2013 12:16:10 PM--2013]

TITLE 46 - MINES AND MINERALS

CHAPTER 512 - INSPECTION AND SAFETY OF MINES

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 512.002           Definitions.

NRS 512.003           “Accident” defined.

NRS 512.004           “Administrator” defined.

NRS 512.005           “Imminent danger” defined.

NRS 512.006           “Mine” defined.

NRS 512.007           “Operator” defined.

NRS 512.008           “Unwarrantable failure of an operator to comply” defined.

NRS 512.009           “Worker” defined.

ADMINISTRATOR

NRS 512.020           Qualifications of employees.

NRS 512.090           Office.

NRS 512.120           Authority regarding employees and representatives.

NRS 512.131           Regulations: Adoption; copies to be furnished operators and representatives of workers.

NRS 512.140           Reports.

NRS 512.151           Duties: Educational and training programs; technical assistance to operators; collection of information and statistics; acceptance and administration of grants.

SAFETY: ACCIDENTS; INSPECTIONS; REPORTS

NRS 512.160           Records and reports of operators.

NRS 512.170           Annual inspection and investigation of mines by Administrator; posting of recommendations.

NRS 512.180           Power of Administrator to inspect mines; operator to render assistance; advance notice of inspection prohibited; participation by representative of workers.

NRS 512.190           Action by Administrator when inspection reveals dangerous conditions or violations; notice prima facie evidence of culpable negligence.

NRS 512.195           Notices and orders: Contents; distribution of copies.

NRS 512.200           Workers may request inspection of mine; conditions.

NRS 512.210           Administrator to notify Attorney General on failure or refusal of operator to comply with order; action by Attorney General.

NRS 512.220           Serious accidents: Notice to Administrator; duties of operator and other persons; investigation of cause.

PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

NRS 512.231           Copies of regulations, standards, notices and orders to be posted by operator.

NRS 512.241           Publication and inspection of information, reports, notices, orders and findings.

PENALTIES

NRS 512.270           Prohibited acts; separate offenses.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 512.002  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 512.003 to 512.009, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them in such sections.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 514)

      NRS 512.003  “Accident” defined.  “Accident” means any unplanned event which caused or could have caused death or bodily injury or which endangered or could have endangered human life and includes any mine fire, mine explosion, mine ignition, unplanned initiation of explosives, entrapment or falls of ground or inundation by water, dust or gas.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

      NRS 512.004  “Administrator” defined.  “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Division of Industrial Relations of the Department of Business and Industry.

      (Added to NRS by 1981, 1530; A 1993, 1681)

      NRS 512.005  “Imminent danger” defined.  “Imminent danger” means the existence of any condition or practice in a mine which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm to any worker if mine operations were to proceed in the affected area or if workers were to enter the affected area before the condition or practice was eliminated.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

      NRS 512.006  “Mine” defined.  “Mine” means:

      1.  An area of land:

      (a) Where exploration is conducted to discover or delineate minerals or mineral commodities in any deposit;

      (b) Where development is conducted to prepare or open any deposit of minerals or mineral commodities other than solid fuels for extraction; or

      (c) Where exploitation or extraction of minerals or mineral commodities other than solid fuels is conducted from any deposit;

      2.  Private ways and roads appurtenant to such areas;

      3.  Structures, equipment, machinery, apparatus or other property, upon the surface or underground, used or to facilitate the work of exploring, developing or extracting minerals or mineral commodities other than solid fuels in or from any deposit; or

      4.  Beneficiation plants, mills, smelters, refineries or other property used or to facilitate the treatment or reduction of any minerals or mineral commodities, whether or not contiguous to an area where exploitation or extraction of minerals or mineral commodities is conducted from any deposit.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

      NRS 512.007  “Operator” defined.  “Operator” means any person or organization operating, controlling or supervising a mine and owning the right to do so, and includes any individual, owner, lessor, lessee, agent, manager, worker, contractor, subcontractor, independent contractor, partnership, association or corporation or subsidiary of a corporation charged with the responsibility for the operation of such mine.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

      NRS 512.008  “Unwarrantable failure of an operator to comply” defined.  “Unwarrantable failure of an operator to comply” means the failure of an operator to prevent the occurrence of or to abate a violation of a health or safety standard or regulation adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter due to indifference, lack of diligence or lack of reasonable care.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

      NRS 512.009  “Worker” defined.  “Worker” means any individual working for wages or other compensation, whether or not employed by an operator.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515)

ADMINISTRATOR

      NRS 512.020  Qualifications of employees.

      1.  Any person employed by the Administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter must not:

      (a) Be an officer, director or employee, or have any personal or private interest in any operating mine, mill, smelter or ore reduction plant or the products thereof;

      (b) Hold, directly or indirectly, any financial interest in any company, partnership, organization or corporation or subsidiary of a corporation, which owns, operates or has a financial interest in any mines which are subject to the provisions of this chapter; or

      (c) Be an officer or employee of any labor organization.

      2.  A person appointed as the Assistant Administrator responsible for the inspection of mines must have at least 7 years of technical, operational or management experience in at least two of the following areas:

      (a) Mines;

      (b) Mills;

      (c) Beneficiation plants; or

      (d) Smelters,

Ê at least 3 years of which must be in underground mining.

      [Part 3:176:1909; RL § 4200; NCL § 4210]—(NRS A 1969, 1002; 1973, 1480; 1975, 517; 1981, 1530; 1991, 65; 1993, 1681)

      NRS 512.090  Office.  The Administrator is entitled to be provided with a properly furnished office in Carson City, Nevada.

      [Part 6:176:1909; A 1917, 29; 1919 RL § 4203; NCL § 4213]—(NRS A 1981, 1531)

      NRS 512.120  Authority regarding employees and representatives.  The Administrator may:

      1.  Employ necessary clerks, technicians, specialists, engineers or consultants.

      2.  Authorize representatives to perform all duties required of the Administrator.

      [Part 2:176:1909; A 1925, 230; 1945, 244; 1943 NCL § 4209]—(NRS A 1975, 518; 1981, 1531; 1985, 434; 1991, 66)

      NRS 512.131  Regulations: Adoption; copies to be furnished operators and representatives of workers.

      1.  The Administrator shall adopt regulations for mine health and safety as necessary to provide safe and healthful working conditions at mines. The regulations must provide protection that is at least equal to the protection provided by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 30 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq., as amended. The Administrator may consider the following sources in adopting the regulations:

      (a) Common practices of the mining industry;

      (b) The American National Standards Institute;

      (c) The American Society of Mechanical Engineers;

      (d) The American Society for Testing and Materials International;

      (e) Applicable provisions contained in the Code of Federal Regulations;

      (f) The National Fire Protection Association, including, without limitation, the National Electrical Code;

      (g) Any national consensus standard; and

      (h) Any safety order legally adopted by the Administrator.

      2.  The Administrator shall forward a copy of each regulation adopted under this section to the operator of each mine and to the representative of the workers, if any, at the mine. Failure to receive a copy of the regulation does not relieve anyone of the obligation to comply with it.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 516; A 1977, 77; 1979, 85; 1981, 1531; 2007, 3310)

      NRS 512.140  Reports.  The Administrator shall submit annually to the Governor, and to the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission created by NRS 514A.040, as soon as practicable after the beginning of each calendar year, a full report of the administration of the Administrator’s functions under this chapter during the preceding calendar year. The report must include, either in summary or detailed form, the information obtained by the Administrator under this chapter together with such findings and comments thereon and such recommendations as the Administrator may deem proper.

      [11:176:1909; A 1951, 169]—(NRS A 1975, 518; 1981, 1531; 2011, 2698)

      NRS 512.151  Duties: Educational and training programs; technical assistance to operators; collection of information and statistics; acceptance and administration of grants.

      1.  The Administrator shall:

      (a) Develop and conduct programs for the education and training of operators and workers in the recognition, avoidance and prevention of accidents or unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in mines which are subject to the provisions of this chapter;

      (b) To the greatest extent possible, provide technical assistance to operators in meeting the requirements of this chapter and in further improving the health and safety conditions and practices in mines which are subject to the provisions of this chapter; and

      (c) Collect information and statistics relative to mines, mining and the minerals industry of the State.

      2.  The Administrator may accept and administer grants and other money received from any private or public source, including the Federal Government, for the purposes of administering the provisions of this chapter.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 515; A 1979, 85; 1981, 1532)

SAFETY: ACCIDENTS; INSPECTIONS; REPORTS

      NRS 512.160  Records and reports of operators.

      1.  Operators shall maintain records and reports and shall submit, at least annually and at such other times as the Administrator deems necessary, and in the form the Administrator prescribes, reports of production, employment, mine activity and status, accidents, bodily injuries, loss of life, occupational illnesses and related data.

      2.  The Administrator shall compile, keep and analyze and may publish, either in summary or detailed form, the information obtained pursuant to the provisions of subsection 1.

      3.  Operators shall notify the Administrator before opening and upon closing mine operations. The notice must include the name and location of the mine, the name and address of the operator, the name of the person in charge of the operation, a statement of whether the operation will be continuous or intermittent, and upon closing, a statement of whether the closing is temporary or permanent.

      [Part 6:176:1909; A 1917, 29; 1919 RL § 4203; NCL § 4213]—(NRS A 1975, 519; 1979, 85; 1981, 1532)

      NRS 512.170  Annual inspection and investigation of mines by Administrator; posting of recommendations.  At least once a year and at such other times as required the Administrator, or the Administrator’s designee, shall visit each mining county in this state and thoroughly inspect and investigate all such mines therein as, in the Administrator’s judgment, may require inspection and investigation for the purposes of:

      1.  Determining whether there has been compliance with health and safety regulations or standards adopted or notices or orders issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

      2.  Determining whether an imminent danger exists;

      3.  Determining the cause or causes of accidents, bodily injuries, loss of lives or occupational illnesses which have occurred in such mines;

      4.  Determining if there are dangerous conditions or practices with respect to the condition or manner of use of equipment, machinery or apparatus; and

      5.  Obtaining such other information for any other purpose as the Administrator may deem advisable.

      [Part 4:176:1909; A 1915, 9; 1955, 148]—(NRS A 1975, 520; 1981, 1532)

      NRS 512.180  Power of Administrator to inspect mines; operator to render assistance; advance notice of inspection prohibited; participation by representative of workers.

      1.  The Administrator may enter all mines in this state subject to the provisions of this chapter, for the purposes of inspections, investigations or access to records and reports required to be maintained or for any other purpose necessary in the proper discharge of the Administrator’s official duties. Operators shall render the Administrator such assistance as may be required to enable the Administrator to make a full, thorough and complete inspection or investigation of each and every part of such mine or mines. No advance notice of an inspection must be provided to any operator, worker, or representative of the workers, if any, at such mine.

      2.  At the commencement of any inspection of a mine by the Administrator, the authorized representative of the workers at the mine must be given an opportunity to accompany the Administrator on the inspection and to participate in any conference held at the conclusion of the inspection. If there is no representative of the workers, the Administrator shall consult with a reasonable number of workers concerning matters of health and safety at the mine.

      [Part 5:176:1909; A 1911, 402; 1925, 13; 1947, 680; 1951, 246]—(NRS A 1967, 600; 1971, 141; 1975, 520; 1981, 1533)

      NRS 512.190  Action by Administrator when inspection reveals dangerous conditions or violations; notice prima facie evidence of culpable negligence.

      1.  Whenever, as the result of the inspection of any mine, the Administrator finds that an imminent danger exists in the mine or with respect to the condition or manner of use of equipment, machinery or apparatus, the Administrator shall thereupon issue an order:

      (a) Requiring the operator to cause all persons except those referred to in subsection 5, to be withdrawn immediately from and prohibited from entering the area where such danger exists until the Administrator determines that such imminent danger no longer exists.

      (b) Prohibiting such equipment, machinery or apparatus to be used or operated until the Administrator determines that such imminent danger no longer exists.

      2.  If, upon any inspection of a mine, the Administrator finds that there has been a violation of any health or safety regulation or standard adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, but the violation has not created an imminent danger, the Administrator shall issue a notice to the operator fixing a reasonable time for the abatement of the violation. If the Administrator subsequently finds:

      (a) Upon the expiration of the period of time as originally fixed or extended for the abatement of the violation, that the violation has not been totally abated and that the period of time should not be further extended; or

      (b) Another violation of any health or safety regulation or standard caused by failure of an operator to prevent the occurrence of such violation due to indifference, lack of diligence or lack of reasonable care, during the same inspection or any subsequent inspection within 90 days after the issuance of the notice,

Ê the Administrator shall forthwith issue an order requiring the operator to cause all persons in the area affected by such violation, except those persons referred to in subsection 5, to be withdrawn from and prohibited from entering the area until the Administrator determines that such violation has been abated.

      3.  If the Administrator finds a violation of a health and safety regulation or standard within 30 days following the abatement of a violation which resulted in the issuance of a withdrawal order under paragraph (b) of subsection 2, the Administrator shall forthwith issue an order requiring the operator to cause all persons in the area affected by such violation, except those persons referred to in subsection 5, to be withdrawn from and prohibited from entering the area until the Administrator determines that such violation has been abated.

      4.  If, as a result of any investigation of any accident occurring in a mine or as a result of any other investigation or tests performed by the Administrator, the Administrator has reason to believe that any equipment, machinery or apparatus will cause an accident, the Administrator may, by order, prohibit the use or operation in any mine of such equipment, machinery or apparatus until he or she determines that such equipment, machinery or apparatus has been repaired, modified, reconditioned or altered in a manner that an accident will thereafter be avoided.

      5.  The following persons are not required to be withdrawn from, or prohibited from entering, any area of the mine subject to a withdrawal order issued under this section:

      (a) Any person whose presence in the area is necessary, in the judgment of the operator or the Administrator, to eliminate the condition described in the order;

      (b) Any public official whose official duties require him or her to enter the area; and

      (c) Any consultant to any of the foregoing.

      6.  A notice or order issued under this section is prima facie evidence of the culpable negligence of an operator in a criminal or civil proceeding at law against such operator for loss of life or bodily injury sustained because of the operator’s failure or refusal to comply with the requirements stated in the notice or order.

      [Part 5:176:1909; A 1911, 402; 1925, 13; 1947, 680; 1951, 246]—(NRS A 1967, 600; 1975, 521; 1981, 1533)

      NRS 512.195  Notices and orders: Contents; distribution of copies.

      1.  Notices and orders issued pursuant to this chapter:

      (a) Must contain a detailed description of the conditions or practices which cause and constitute a situation of imminent danger or a violation of any health or safety regulation or standard and, where appropriate, a description of the area of the mine from which persons, equipment, machinery or apparatus must be withdrawn and prohibited from entering, and a description of the equipment, machinery or apparatus prohibited from being used or operated.

      (b) Must be in writing and signed by the Administrator and given promptly to the operator of the affected mine.

      (c) May be modified, vacated or terminated by the Administrator.

      2.  The Administrator shall furnish immediately a copy of any notice or order issued pursuant to this chapter to the operator and to a representative of the workers, if any, at the affected mine.

      3.  If an order is issued pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 512.190 and the Mine Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor did not participate in the inspection on which that order is based, the Administrator shall notify the Mine Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor that the order has been issued.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 516; A 1979, 86; 1981, 1534)

      NRS 512.200  Workers may request inspection of mine; conditions.

      1.  Whenever any worker or a representative of the workers, if any, has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of a health or safety regulation or standard exists, or an imminent danger exists, the worker or representative of the workers may obtain an inspection by giving notice to the Administrator of the violation or danger.

      2.  The notice must be in writing, signed by the worker or representative of the workers, and a copy must be provided to the operator no later than at the time of inspection, except that, upon the request of the person giving notice, the person’s name and the names of individual workers referred to therein must not appear in the copy.

      3.  Upon receipt of notification by the Administrator, an inspection in accordance with the provisions of this chapter may be made as soon as practicable to determine if a violation or imminent danger exists.

      [7:176:1909; A 1955, 148]—(NRS A 1975, 522; 1981, 1535)

      NRS 512.210  Administrator to notify Attorney General on failure or refusal of operator to comply with order; action by Attorney General.  Upon the unwarrantable failure of an operator to comply or upon refusal of an operator of any mine to comply with the requirements of any order issued to such operator, the Administrator may immediately notify the Attorney General of the unwarrantable failure to comply or the refusal. The Attorney General, or the district attorney of the county in which the mine is situated at the instigation of the Attorney General, must thereupon immediately commence an action in the name of the State against the operator so notified for the enforcement of the penalty designated in NRS 512.270.

      [8:176:1909; A 1925, 13; 1947, 680; 1951, 169]—(NRS A 1975, 523; 1981, 1535)

      NRS 512.220  Serious accidents: Notice to Administrator; duties of operator and other persons; investigation of cause.

      1.  Whenever a serious accident occurs in any mine in this state subject to the provisions of this chapter, the operator shall, immediately and by the quickest means, notify the Administrator or the Administrator’s deputy, as may be most convenient, of the accident, and shall take appropriate measures to preserve everything which might assist the Administrator in determining the cause or causes of the accident. Except as necessary to alleviate or eliminate any situation constituting an imminent danger or an unwarranted danger to property, a person shall not alter any condition which might assist the Administrator in determining the cause or causes of the accident.

      2.  The Administrator may investigate fully the cause of the accident as soon as practicable after receipt of notification.

      [Part 10:176:1909; A 1947, 680; 1955, 148]—(NRS A 1975, 523; 1981, 1535; 1991, 66)

PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

      NRS 512.231  Copies of regulations, standards, notices and orders to be posted by operator.  Copies of regulations and standards adopted and notices and orders issued by the Administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter must be posted by the operator on a bulletin board located in a conspicuous place at the mine.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 516; A 1981, 1536)

      NRS 512.241  Publication and inspection of information, reports, notices, orders and findings.  All information, reports, notices, orders or findings obtained or issued under the provisions of this chapter may be published and made available for public inspection.

      (Added to NRS by 1975, 516)

PENALTIES

      NRS 512.270  Prohibited acts; separate offenses.

      1.  Any operator who:

      (a) Violates, fails or refuses to comply with any health or safety regulation or standard adopted by the Administrator pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

      (b) Interferes with, hinders or delays the Administrator in carrying out the duties required under this chapter;

      (c) Refuses admission to the Administrator upon or through any mine which is subject to the provisions of this chapter or to render assistance;

      (d) Refuses to permit the Administrator to inspect or investigate any mine which is subject to the provisions of this chapter, or of any accident, bodily injury, fatality or occupational illness occurring at or connected with the mine;

      (e) Refuses to furnish to the Administrator any information or report requested by the Administrator pursuant to this chapter;

      (f) Knowingly makes any false statement or representation, or fails to make any statement or representation in any record, report or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter;

      (g) Refuses to permit the Administrator to inspect or investigate any equipment, machinery, apparatus, tools or other property with respect to its condition or manner of use at any mine subject to the provisions of this chapter;

      (h) Fails to maintain any information or report required to be maintained pursuant to this chapter; or

      (i) Violates or fails or refuses to comply with an order of withdrawal issued pursuant to NRS 512.190,

Ê is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

      2.  Each separate provision not complied with and each day after conviction of failure to comply with any standard or provision or this chapter is a separate offense and punished accordingly.

      [42:176:1909; added 1911, 402; A 1925, 13; NCL § 4248]—(NRS A 1967, 601; 1971, 540; 1975, 524; 1981, 1536)