Operations manager (mining)

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The operator is a supervisor in the mining industry who, as a manager, is responsible for an entire mine or for a large part of the mine. In the second half of the 19th century, the operator was one of the operations officials who were responsible for managing and supervising the mine operations. Before people can work as operators in a mine, they must be recognized by the mining authority .


In the second half of the 19th century there were several amendments to the law that had a significant impact on mining. With these new laws, the state tutelage of the miners was lifted and instead of the principle of management came the inspection principle . From now on, the mine owners themselves were responsible for the proper management and management of the mine operations. At first, this was not easily feasible, because the only mine officials working on the mine were the Steiger , who, however, were not entrusted with the technical management of the entire mine and received their instructions for this from the district officials of the mining authority . In the first few years, the mine operators entrusted an experienced steiger with the technical management of the mine operation. It was only later that engineers who had been specially trained for this management task were employed as operators.


The operator should be able to run the operation competently, taking into account the rules of mining technology and the mountain police regulations. Scientific training is usually required for this. This means that, in addition to a longer technical college education, a prospective operator needs further school qualifications and several years of professional experience before he can be employed as an operator. The basic requirement is the successful attendance of a climbing school at a mountain school or mountain technical school approved by the Oberbergamt . This school education lasts between two and three years, depending on the subject and school. Subsequently, the prospective plant manager has to work as a foreman in his specialist area for several years. If he has distinguished himself for a higher position during this time, he can attend a one-year operator training course. However, this presupposes that he has passed an entrance examination intended for this school. If a Steiger has passed his Steigerschule with at least the grade "Good", he can attend the upper class (operator training course) without an entrance examination. In the upper class, the prospective plant managers are trained for their future tasks such as operational planning, operational organization and operational monitoring. At the end of the upper class, the graduates have to present their acquired knowledge in an examination. This test takes the form of a company-specific technical thesis, which is specified by the mine management of the respective test object. After successfully passing the final examination, the graduates receive a diploma as proof of their technical and business qualification as an operator. The extensive training and a corresponding company selection are prerequisites for ensuring that only conscientious and responsible people can get into such a manager.

Duties and powers

The operations manager's tasks are operational planning, operational organization and operational monitoring. In addition, there are tasks in the area of ​​occupational safety, in particular monitoring compliance with the safety regulations issued. In addition, the operator is also responsible for receiving complaints or business concerns from his employees and dealing with them. In order to be able to carry out his tasks, the operator also has extensive competencies. The operator is entitled to hire employees for his area. He also has a say in the recruitment of trainees. Furthermore, he is responsible for the training of his subordinate employees. He takes exams such as B. from the tusk test and appoints the weathermen and blasting officers required for his area . The operator is also decisive in determining the wages of his subordinate employees. He negotiated this with the local elders of the respective workforces hired house , checked by random sampling, the DONE works and about announcements made driving Steiger and Obersteiger. In addition, he sets the wages of his employees within the scope of his possibilities and checks the wage calculations of the individual Reviersteiger. The operator can also sanction his subordinate employees, such as B. wage deduction. Until the law was changed, only the royal district officials of the mining authority had this option. Ultimately, the operator is also authorized to release employees from his area.

Hierarchy and position under mining law

The operation leader passes the entire operating on smaller mines, larger mines there are several operating guides that as head the individual subregions from - and device , degradation , shaft , and - route promoting protrude electric operation and machine operation. All employees who work in his area of ​​responsibility are subordinate to the operator. Each manager is hierarchically subordinate to the works management, from which the managers also receive instructions. In terms of mining law, the operator is responsible for his entire area of ​​activity. However, the operator cannot regulate all the details himself in his area of ​​responsibility. That is why he can delegate individual tasks and responsibilities to his subordinate supervisors. However, this is only possible to a certain extent. The operator can only transfer responsibility under mining law to supervisors who are subordinate to him if they are familiar with the operation and the safety-related and mining law issues there. Each supervisor is fully responsible under criminal and civil law in the business area assigned to him. Nevertheless, the operator retains overall responsibility under mining law for his operations under him. Persons who lead the operator, such as According to the old mining law, e.g. the factory management, were only criminally responsible if they had prevented the operational supervisors from performing their duties properly through actions or omissions. This responsibility has been newly regulated in the Federal Mining Act in Sections 58 and 59, when the Federal Mining Act came into force, primarily the entrepreneur or the persons authorized to represent him belong to the group of “responsible persons” and are therefore fully responsible for their business area. Partial responsibility can be transferred to subordinate supervisors.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Walter Bischoff , Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: The small mining dictionary. 7th edition, Verlag Glückauf GmbH, Essen 1988, ISBN 3-7739-0501-7 .
  2. ^ Heinrich Veith: German mountain dictionary with evidence. Published by Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Breslau 1871.
  3. a b c d R. Willecke, G. Turner: Grundriß des Bergrechts. 2nd revised and expanded edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, Berlin 1970, pp. 104-109, 160.
  4. ^ Ernst Jüngst: Festschrift to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Association for Mining Interests in the Dortmund Upper Mining District in Essen. Publishing house of the Berg und Hüttenmännische magazine "Glückauf", Essen 1908, pp. 58–65.
  5. ^ Adolf Arndt, Kuno Frankenstein (ed.): Handbook and textbook of political science in independent volumes. First Department of Economics XI. Volume mining and mining policy, Verlag von CL Hirschfeld, Leipzig 1894, pp. 78–84.
  6. ^ A b c Association for Mining Interests in the Upper Mining District Dortmund (ed.): Economic development of the Lower Rhine-Westphalian coal mining in the second half of the 19th century. First part, Springer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 1904, pp. 33–43.
  7. Helmuth Trischler: Steiger in German mining - On the social history of technical employees 1815-1945. Beck, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-406-32995-0 , pp. 32-111.
  8. a b c d e European Coal and Steel Community (ed.): The training of technical supervisory staff underground in the coal mining community. Report on the study conference from June 4-5, 1959 in Luxemburg, Luxemburg 1960, pp. 18, 24, 25.
  9. a b c d e European Coal and Steel Community (ed.): The vocational training in hard coal mining in the countries of the Community. Luxembourg 1956, pp. 46-47, 54, 72, 84, 98, 110, 206, 212, 392, 402-403.
  10. a b c d K. Bax: The design of accident prevention work in the Ruhr mining industry. In: Glückauf, Berg- und Hüttenmännische magazine. Association for Mining Interests in the Upper Mining District Dortmund (Ed.), No. 30, 73rd year, July 24, 1937, pp. 685–692.
  11. a b Fritz-Konrad Krüger: The economic and social conditions in the lignite industry in Niederlausitz in their development up to the present. Verlag von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart 1911, pp. 150–151.
  12. a b c Wilfried Rudloff, Jens Flemming: Collection of sources for the history of German social policy 1867 to 1914. Section II, Volume 4, from the imperial social message to the February decrees of Wilhelm II (1881–1890), DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH , Mainz 2008, pp. 165, 168-169, 433-434, 457, 534.
  13. ^ European Community for Coal and Steel (ed.): The vocational training in iron ore mining of the countries of the community. Luxembourg 1959, pp. 40-60, 87.
  14. Franz Dohmen: The memory of mining. Springer-Verlag Berlin - Göttingen - Heidelberg, Berlin - Göttingen - Heidelberg 1953, pp. 37, 41, 58.
  15. a b Lorenz Pieper: The situation of the miners in the Ruhr area. JG Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Nachhaben, Stuttgart and Berlin 1903, pp. 23, 29–35, 49, 58–60, 69, 92, 101.
  16. Instructions in which cases and how the mine officials and miners are to be punished by the royal district officials. Printed by GD Bädeler, Essen 1824, pp. 2–8.
  17. a b c E. Müller: About the responsibility of the senior officials of a mine from §§. 73 to 76 of the General Mining Act and §. 151, Paragraph 1 of the Reich Trade Regulations. In: Glückauf, Berg- und Hüttenmännische Wochenschrift. Association for Mining Interests in the Oberbergamtsgebiet Dortmund (Ed.), No. 2, XXXVII. Volume, January 12, 1901, pp. 21-25.
  18. Federal Mining Act, BBergG. 1st edition, Antiphon Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-73140-991-5 , pp. 63-64.


  1. The local elder is a spokesman elected by the workers' group of an operating point who represents the team in matters of wages and remedies and in matters of work execution . (Source: Walter Bischoff, Heinz Bramann, Westfälische Berggewerkschaftskasse Bochum: Das kleine Bergbaulexikon. )