The Public Safety and Subsidence team provides an emergency response service to incidents which pose a risk to the safety of the public that are associated with former coal mining operations. Our emergency call out Service deals with these incidents on a 24-hour basis, every day of the year. Upon receiving a report of a coal mining hazard, we will arrange for the situation to be made safe, without consideration of responsibility.
Claims for coal mining subsidence damage from property owners are also administered by the Public Safety and Subsidence department. Such claims can arise throughout the coalfield areas of Britain, where the Authority is the 'responsible person.'
The Public Safety and Subsidence team also administers the Authority’s inspection programme for the 170,000 recorded coal mine entries across the UK, and operates the management programme for 41 spoil tips which are in the ownership of the Authority.
Surface Hazards and Enquiries
The Authority is the public body which deals with public safety risks arising from past coal mining activities. These include mine entry and mine working collapses, gas emissions, mine water emissions and spontaneous combustion of coal.
Our emergency response service deals with these incidents on a 24-hour basis, every day of the year, across all the coalfield areas. Upon receiving a report of a suspected coal mining hazard, we will arrange for the situation to be made safe. The Authority will respond to surface hazard reports by making them secure, on a without prejudice basis, investigating the cause of incidents and carrying out a permanent treatment where the Authority has a responsibility to do so.
The Authority also deals with other projects associated with former coal mining which may be the responsibility of the Authority but cause a nuisance effect rather than a public safety risk incident. These projects are termed enquiries.
It is extremely rare to be able to predict ground collapses associated with mine entries and shallow workings, and hence the Coal Authority can only react to remove a public safety danger when a notification of a hazard is made to it by the public and/or external bodies.