Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 7,5 million

Official Journal Reference

C 10 of 1977-01-14
To achieve a safer working environment for those engaged in the mining of coal and iron ore.


The five-year "Safety in Mines" programme was established in accordance with Article 55 of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty which requires the Commission to promote technical and economic research relating to occupational safety in the coal and steel industries. The funds for this aid are derived from levies imposed on the production of coal and steel as provided for in Article 49 of the ECSC Treaty.

The programme was the first multi-annual mine safety programme; before this, projects relating to mine safety had been proposed on a yearly basis, in an individual manner, without recourse to an overall framework.


Eight research topics:

- Fires and underground combustion:
To continue research into underground roadway fires, particularly those involving long items of plant (such as conveyors and electric cables), causes and early detection of spontaneous combustion and methods of rendering roadway linings fire resistant;

- Explosions:
To continue different research on the types of explosion-arresting barriers with the aim of providing efficient and practical barriers to meet all mining situations (this work will include further research into the development and practical application of triggered barriers);

- Rescue:
Continuation of research to develop satisfactory means of rescuing trapped miners incorporating locating, communication, contact and rescue;

- Surveillance, telemetry, remote control, automation and communication:
To conduct research related to the following:
. Design, development and application of surveillance instruments to monitor and safeguard all aspects of the underground environment;
. Development of systems for remote monitoring and control of the underground environment using the instruments developed;
. Study of automated and remotely-controlled systems to assess their performance and safety;
. Development of systems of underground communication;

- Methods of working:
To conduct research on all aspects related to existing and possible methods of exploitation, including: the safety aspects of methods and machinery; rockbursts in all their aspects; strata stability, particularly in pillar and room workings; underground mining waters; materials for consolidating and improving adverse strata conditions and their conditions of use; development of methods of sealing mine areas and roadways; mining explosives; and research related to noise, vibration, lighting and climate in mines;

- Electricity:
Research on intrinsic safety and flame-proof enclosures and further work on the safety of electrical networks and static electricity;

To conduct research on all aspects of a metallurgical character, including the study of the behaviour of ropes, chains and chain connectors as used for conveying, haulage and winding operations in mines, the determination of suitable operating parameters and the design and development of relevant non-destructive testing equipment;

- Accidents and accident information:
To conduct research into aspects of the application of measures relating from studies of incidents and accidents.


The Commission was responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by three advisory committees: the Research Committee, the Committee of Producers and Workers on Industrial Safety and Medicine and the Committee of Government Experts.

Research was undertaken by the mining research establishments in the Community which possessed considerable experience in researching mine safety and health problems. Research was allocated to the institutes according to their particular facilities and expertise so as to ensure that the programme was implemented in the most efficient and beneficial manner.

Once a project was accepted by the Commission, a contract was drawn up detailing all requirements, including the periodic submission of technical reports. The ceiling for the Community's financial contribution was set at 75% of the total cost of the project, with the beneficiary providing the remainder. In addition to direct aid costs, funds were made available to meet programme running costs: those for the holding of related, necessary meetings, travelling and subsistence allowances for experts and research workers, the organization and operation of study or information seminars and the publishing and dissemination of the results of the research undertaken.

Details of projects and of the results achieved, together with any patents arising from the research, were contained in abstracts published and distributed by the Commission.


Record Number: 578 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05