SAFETY FOR THE MINERS : IMPERIAL DECREE OF 3rd OF JANUARY 1813


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A – 1813/03/03/ DECREE

IMPERIAL DECREE OF 3rd OF JANUARY 1813

Concerning the dispositions for policing of mining operations.
(Bulletin of Laws 1813, N°467, p.38)

NAPOLEON, EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH, KING OF ITALY, PROTECTOR OF THE CONFEDERATION OF THE RHINE, MEDIATOR OF THE SWISS CONFEDERATION, &c. &c. &c.

On the report of our minister of the interior ;

The events which have occurred recently in the mining operations of several départements of our Empire, having particularly stirred our concern in favour of those of our subjects daily occupied in mining works, we have recognised that these accidents may arise 1° from the non-execution of the clauses of the specifications laid down for the concessionaries to ensure the solidity of the galeries ; 2° from lack of precautions against underground flooding and the ignition of mephitic and deleterious vapours ; 3° from the insubordination of workers ; 4° from the negligence of mine owners to provide them with the necessary aid : and wishing to prevent, as far as it be in our power, the repetition of these misfortunes, by measures of policing specially applicable to mining operations ;

Having heard our Council of State,

We HAVE DECREED and DECREE that which follows :

TITLE THE FIRST.

Preliminary dispositions.

ART. the Ist The mine operators who, in accordance with the dispositions of the law of the 21st of April 1810, have the right to obtain the concession of their current operations, will be required to formulate their request within a year of the publication of the present decree.

2. Their requests will be addressed to the prefects, who will have the certificate delivered to them, and will have them transmitted to the director general of mines, with their appraisal, and that of the engineer, on the definitive limits to be fixed for the requested concessions.

TITLE II.
Dispositions destined to prevent accidents

3. When the safety of operations or that of the workers may be compromised by whatever cause, the owners will be required to warn the local authority, of the state of the endangered mine ; and the engineer of mines, as soon as he will be informed, will make his report to the prefect, and will propose the measure that he believes appropriate to remedy the causes of the danger.

4.The prefect, after hearing the mine operator or his representatives, duly summoned, will prescribe the proper dispositions by a prefectoral order which will be sent to the director general of mines, to be approved, if necessary, by the minister of the Interior.

In an emergency, the engineer will specify this circumstance in his report, and the prefect will be authorised to order that his order be provisionally carried out.

5. If an engineer, on visiting mining operations, recognises a cause of imminent danger, he will, under his responsibility, make the necessary requisitions from the local authorities, so that provision be made immediately, according to the dispositions that he considers correct, in the manner praticed in the field of public walkways when there is an imminent danger of the collapse of a building.

6. There will be kept, for each mine, a register and a map showing the daily advancement of the works, and the circumstances of operations of which it will be useful to preserve the memory. The engineer of mines must, on each of his inspections, have the register and plan shown to him : he will insert the minutes of the visit, and his observations on the direction of the works. He will leave to the operator, in all cases in which he considers it useful to do so, written instructions on the register, including the measures to be taken for the safety of the men and that of objects.

7. If part or the totality of a mining operation should be in a state of disrepair or of disuse such that the life of the men is compromised or could be, and that the engineer of mines considers that it is not possible to correctly repair it, the engineer will make his informed report to the prefect, who will consult the engineer in chief for his opinion and hear the operator or his representatives.

In the case in which the interested party recognises the reality of the danger indicated by the engineer, the prefect shall order the closure of the works.

In case of contestation, three experts will be named, the first by the prefect, the second by the operator, and the third by the justice of the peace of the canton.

The experts shall travel to the place ; where they will make all of the necessary checks, in the presence of a member of the council of the arrondissement, delegated to this effect by the prefect, and with the aid of the chief engineer. They will make a reasoned report to the prefect.

The prefect will refer to the minister, giving his opinion.

The minister, on the advice of the prefect and the report of the director general of mines, will be authorised to rule on the decision, but for right to appeal to the Council of State.

All of the above without effect on the dispositions laid down, for emergencies, in article 4 of the present decree.

8. It is forbidden to all owners, to abandon, in entirety, an operation, if it has not previously been visited by the engineer of mines.

The internal plans shall be checked by him ; he shall draw up the minutes from them, by which he will make known the causes which might render abandonment necessary.

The whole shall be transmitted by him, as with his opinion, to the prefect of the département.

9. If the operations are of a nature to be abandoned by portions or by levels, and at different moments, this shall be carried out successively and in the manner indicated above.

In both cases, the prefect shall order the dispositions of policing, of safety and of conservation that he judges correct, according to the opinion of the engineer of mines.

10. Administrative acts concerning the policing of mines and quarries, which have been mentioned in the preceding articles, shall be notified to the operators, in order that they conform to them in the time limits prescribed ; failing which, the offenses shall be noted by the minutes of the engineers of mines, supervisors, mayors, other officers of the police, mine guardians. The articles 93 and following of the law of the 21st of April 1810 are to be conformed to ; and in the event of non-execution, the dispositions prescribed shall be carried out forthwith at the operator’s expense, in the forms laid down by article 37 of the imperial decree of the 18th of November 1810.

TITLE III.
Measures to be taken in the event of accidents occurring in the Mines, Quarries, Factories and Workshops.

11. In the event of accidents occuring in a mine, quarry, factories and workshops pertaining to them, either by landslide, by flooding, by fire, by asphyxiation, by rupture of machines, engines, ropes, chains, lifts, or by noxious gases, or by any other cause, and which may have caused the death or serious injuries to one or several workers, the operators, directors, master minors and other appointed persons are required to immediately inform the mayor of the municipality, and the engineer of mines, and in the event of absence, the supervisor.

12. The same obligation is imposed upon them in the event in which the accident compromises the safety of the works, that of the mines or the properties of the surface, and provision for consumers.

13. In all cases, the engineer of mines shall travel to the site : he shall draw up the minutes of the accident seperately or concomitantly with the mayors and other officers of the police ; he shall note the causes, and transmit the whole to the prefect of the département.

In the event of absence, the engineers shall be replace by the apprentice supervisors and the mine guardians sworn in before the tribunals. If the ones and the others are absent, the mayors and other officers of the police shall name the experts who are competent to this effect, to visit the operations and record their observations in a set of minutes.

14. As soon as the mayor and other officers of the police shall have been informed, either by the operators, or by public voice, of an accident occurring in a mine or factory, they shall take, conjointly with the engineer of mines, all of the correct measures to put an end to the danger and resolve its consequences ; they may, as in the event of imminent peril, requisition tools, horses, and men, and shall give the necessary orders.

The carrying out of the works will take place under the direction of the engineer or the supervisors, and, in the event of absence, under the direction of the experts delegated to this effect by the local authority.

15. The operators shall be required to maintain on their establishments, in proportion to the number of workers and the scale of the operations, the medecines and the means of aid that shall be indicated to them by the minister of the Interior, and to conform to the regulations that shall be approved by him to this effect.

16. The minister of the Interior, on the proposition of the prefects and the report of the director general of the mines, shall indicate those operations, which by their size and the number of workers they employ, must have and maintain at their expense a surgeon specially affected to the service of the establishment.

A single surgeon may be affected simultaneously to several establishments, if these establishments are sufficiently close to each other. His salary shall be at the expense of the owners, proportionally to their interests.

17. The operators and directors of neighbouring mines to that in which an accident occurs, shall provide all the means of aid of which they may dispose, either in men, or in any other manner, excepted the right to appeal for their indemnity, should there be cause, against whomever it may concern.

18. It is expressly prescribed that mayors and other officers of police shall have shown to them, the bodies of the workers who may have perished by accident in operations, and not permit their burial until after the minutes of the accident shall have been drawn up, in accordance with article 81 of the Code Napoléon, and on pain of the same punishments laid down in articles 358 and 359 of the Penal Code.

19. In the event of impossibility of reaching the place where the bodies of workers who have perished in the operations are to be found, the operators, directors and other representatives shall be required to have this circumstance noted by the mayor, or another public official, who shall draw up minutes and transmit them to the imperial procurator, who shall see to it, and on authorisation by the tribunal, this act shall be annexed to the register of civil status.

20. The expenses demanded by the aid given to the wounded, drowned or asphyxiated, and the repairs to the works, shall be at the expense of the operators.

21. Whatever the manner in which an accident occurs, the engineers of the mines, mayors, and other officers of the police, shall immediately send their minutes to the under-prefects and to the imperial procurators. The minutes must be signed and delivered by the prescribed deadlines.

22. In the event of accidents causing the loss or mutilation of one or more workers, from failure to conform to that which is prescribed in the present regulations, the operators, owners and directors are liable to be traduced before the tribunals, for the application, should there be cause, of the dispositions of articles 319 and 320 of the Penal Code, independently of the damages and interest that may be allotted to whom it may concern.

TITLE IV.
Dispositions concerning policing of the personnel

SECTION THE Ist
On Engineers, Mine owners, Operators and other Appointees.

23. Independently of their annual inspections, the engineers of mines shall frequently visit the operations in which an accident has occurred, or which demand particular vigilance. The minutes shall be transcribed on a register opened to this effect in the offices of the engineers ; they shall, furthermore, be transmitted to the prefects of the départements.

24. The mine owners, operators and other appointees, shall provide the engineers and supervisors all the means to travel through the works, and in particular to visit all the points which might demand special vigilance. Theys hall display the map, both interior and exterior, and the registers of the advancement of the works, as well as of the regulation of the workers : they shall provide them all of the information on the state of the operation, the policing of the minors and other employees ; they shall have them accompanied by the directors and master miners, in order that these latter may note all of the information that it should be useful to note regarding safety and healthiness.

SECTION II.
On Workers.

25. In the future, may only be employed as master miners or appointed heads of work in mines and quarries, under any title whatsoever, those individuals who have worked as minors, carpenters, timbermen or mechanics, since at least three consecutive years.

26. Every miner by profession or other worker, employed, either in the interior or at the exterior, in the operations of mines and quarries, factories and workshops pertaining to them, must bear a [labour] passport, and conform to the dispositions of the order of the 9th of Frimaire Year XII.

The registers upon which the registration shall take place in each municipality, shall be kept in the annexe of the municipality, in order to consult them, should the need arise.

It is forbidden to all operators to employ any individual who does not bear a passport correctly maintained, including the acquit of the previous employer.

27. Independently of the passports and registration registers at the town hall, there shall be kept, in each operation, an exact and daily examination of the workers working, either in the interior, or at the exterior of the mines, quarries, factories and workshops pertaining to them ; these examinations shall be recorded in a register which will be classed by the mayor and signed by him every month.

This register shall be signed by the engineers, during their inspection.

28. On each of their visits, the engineers of mines must have carried out, in their presence, the verification of the examination of the workers.

The mayor of the municipality may carry out this verification when he judges it appropriate, above all when there is cause to consider that there may be a danger to the individuals employed in the works.

29. It is forbidden to allow to descend into, or work in the mines and quarries, children under the age of ten years.

No worker may be admitted into the works, if he is drunk or ill ; no one not employed in the works may enter without the permission of the operator or of the director, and must be accompanied by a master miner.

30. Any worker who, by insubordination or disobedience to the head of the works, against the established order, shall have compromised the safety of persons or objects, shall be prosecuted and punished according to the seriousness of the circumstances, in accordance with the disposition of article 22 of the present decree.

TITLE V.
General dispositions.

31. Breaches of the above dispositions of policing, even when they are not followed by accidents, shall be prosecuted and judged according to title X of the law of the 21st of April 1810, on the mines, quarries and factories.

32. Our minister of the Interior is charged with executing the present decree, which shall be inserted in the Bulletin of Laws.

Signed NAPOLEON.

By the Emperor :

The Minister Secretary of State in interim, signed the DUC DE CADORE

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3 commentaires pour SAFETY FOR THE MINERS : IMPERIAL DECREE OF 3rd OF JANUARY 1813

  1. Ping : DES IDÉES NAPOLÉONIENNES CH.III 7e partie – ON NAPOLEONIC IDEAS CHAPTER THREE Part Seven. | Mouvement Bonapartiste

  2. Ping : DES IDÉES NAPOLÉONIENNES CH.III 12e partie – ON NAPOLEONIC IDEAS CHAPTER THREE Part Twelve | Mouvement Bonapartiste

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