MSHA - Code of Federal Regulations - 30 CFR 49.12
Skip to content
MSHA - Title 30 CFR
30 CFR § 49.12

Availability of mine rescue teams.


    (a) Except where alternative compliance is permitted for small and remote mines (§ 49.13), every operator of an underground mine shall:
    (1) Establish at least two mine rescue teams which are available at all times when miners are underground; or
    (2) Enter into an arrangement for mine rescue services which assures that at least two mine rescue teams are available at all times when miners are underground.
    (b) Each mine rescue team shall consist of five members and one alternate who are fully qualified, trained, and equipped for providing emergency mine rescue service. Mine rescue teams for anthracite coal mines, which have no electrical equipment at the face or working section, shall consist of at least three members per team and one alternate that may be shared between both teams.
    (c) To be considered for membership on a mine rescue team, each person must have been employed in an underground mine for a minimum of 1 year within the past 5 years, except that members of contract mine rescue teams shall have a minimum of 3 years underground coal mine experience that shall have occurred within the 10-year period preceding their employment on the contract mine rescue team. For the purpose of mine rescue work only, miners who are employed on the surface but work regularly underground shall meet the experience requirement. The underground experience requirement is waived for those miners on a mine rescue team on February 8, 2008.
    (d) Each operator shall arrange, in advance, ground transportation for rescue teams and equipment to the mine or mines served.
    (e) The required rescue capability shall be present at all existing underground mines, upon initial excavation of a new underground mine entrance, or the re-opening of an existing underground mine.
    (f) No mine served by a mine rescue team shall be located more than 1 hour ground travel time from the mine rescue station with which the rescue team is associated.
    (g) As used in this subpart, mine rescue teams shall be considered available where teams are capable of presenting themselves at the mine site(s) within a reasonable time after notification of an occurrence which might require their services. Rescue team members will be considered available even though performing regular work duties or in an off-duty capacity. The requirement that mine rescue teams be available shall not apply when teams are participating in mine rescue contests or providing services to another mine.
    (h) Each operator of an underground mine who provides rescue teams under this section shall send the District Manager a statement describing the mine's method of compliance with this subpart. The statement shall disclose whether the operator has independently provided mine rescue teams or entered into an agreement for the services of mine rescue teams. The name of the provider and the location of the services shall be included in the statement. A copy of the statement shall be posted at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the statement.