Mine Inspections

Role of the Arizona Deputy Mine Inspector

The mine inspector shall inspect, at least once every three months, every active underground mine in the state employing fifty or more persons, and at least once each year, every other mine.  The inspector shall inspect the operation, conditions, safety appliances, machinery, equipment, sanitation and ventilation, the means of ingress and egress, the means taken to protect the lives, health and safety of the miners, the cause of accidents and deaths occurring at the mine, and the means taken to comply with provisions of this title.

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The mine inspector may enter and inspect any abandoned or inactive mine to determine whether any dangerous condition exists which may affect the health and safety of the general public.

The inspector at any time may enter, examine and inspect any mine or part of any mine and inspect any connected plant or equipment or any part of the workings of the mine.

The mine operator or designated representative shall accompany the inspector, without unreasonable delay, while conducting inspections.

When mining operations are scheduled to begin at any mine, the operator, owner, agent or other authorized representative shall give written notice to the inspector prior to commencement of mining.

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In the case of temporary suspension of operations excluding labor disputes, exceeding six months or in the case of permanent termination of mining operations, the operator shall notify the inspector, in writing, before the suspension or termination date.  All shafts, portals, adits or other openings shall be secured to prevent unauthorized entry and to protect public health and safety pursuant to section 27-318.

On notification of suspension or termination of mining operations, the inspector shall inspect the property to determine if adequate safety measures are being taken to protect the public.

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When the inspector receives a complaint in writing signed by a person employed in an operation, stating that the operation in which he is working or part of it is being operated contrary to law or is dangerous to the health or lives of persons employed therein, and setting forth when the danger was first observed, the inspector shall examine the operation as soon as possible.  The name of the person making the complaint shall not be disclosed by the inspector unless permission is expressly granted by the person.  The complaint shall be indexed and filed by the inspector.

The inspector may enter on such land to inspect for dangerous conditions which may present a health and safety hazard to the public.  If hazards exist, the inspector may erect warning signs across or near the entrance of any mine shaft, portal, pit or other mine opening prohibiting the entry of unauthorized persons or erect other protective devices as necessary.