§ (1) There must be in every mine at least two shafts or outlets, with which every seam for the time being at work in the mine shall have a communication, so that such shafts or outlets shall afford separate means of ingress and egress available to the persons employed in every such seam, whether the shafts or outlets belong to the same mine or to more than one mine.
§ (2) Such shafts or outlets must not at any point be nearer to one another than fifteen yards; and there shall be between such two shafts or outlets a communication not less than four feet wide and four feet high.
§ (3) Every part of a mine in which ten or more persons are employed at the same time shall be provided with at least two ways affording means of egress to the surface, and so arranged that in the event of either becoming impassable at any point 1506 the other will afford means of egress to the surface.
§ (4) No person shall be precluded by any agreement from doing such acts as may be necessary for complying with the foregoing provisions of this section, or be liable under any contract to any injunction damages penalty or forfeiture for doing such acts as may be necessary in order to comply therewith.
§ (5) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply—
- (i) in the case of a new mine or seam being opened—
- (a) to any working for the purpose of making a communication between two or more shafts or outlets; or
- (b) to any working for the purpose of searching for or proving minerals;
- (c) to any drivings or other preparatory work;
- (ii) to any proved mine so long as it is exempted by order of the Secretary of State on the ground either—
- (a) that the quantity of mineral proved is not sufficient to repay the outlay which would be occasioned by sinking or making a second shaft or outlet, or by establishing communication with a second shaft or outlet, in any case where such communication existed and has become unavailable; or
- (b) that the workings in any seam of the mine have reached the boundary of the property or the extremity of the mineral field of which that seam is a part, and that it is expedient to work away the pillars already formed in course of the ordinary working, notwithstanding that one of the shafts or outlets may be cut off by so working away the pillars of that seam;
- (iii) to any mine—
- (a) while a shaft is being sunk, or an outlet being made; or
- (b) one of the shafts or outlets of which has become, by reason of some accident, unavailable for the use of the persons employed in the mine;
§ (6) The foregoing provisions of this section requiring the two shafts or outlets of a mine to be separated by a distance of not less than fifteen yards shall not apply to any mine which is provided with two shafts sunk before the first day of January eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and at that time separated by a distance of less than ten feet, or commenced to be sunk before the first day of January eighteen hundred and eighty-eight, and separated by a distance of ten feet or upwards, but less than fifteen yards.
§ (7) The foregoing provisions of this section as to the dimensions of the communications between two shafts or outlets shall not apply to any mine or class of mines for the time being exempted therefrom by order of the Secretary of State by reason of the thinness of the seams or other exigencies affecting that mine or class of mines, and so long as the conditions (if any) annexed to the order of exemption are duly observed.
§ Amendment made: Leave out paragraph (i) (e).—[Mr. Masterman.]