Program Policy Manual
INTERPRETATION AND GUIDELINES
ON ENFORCEMENT OF
THE 1977 ACT
May 16, 1996
INTERPRETATION AND GUIDELINES
ON ENFORCEMENT OF
THE 1977 ACT
May 16, 1996
45.4 Independent Contractor Register
30 CFR 45.4(a) requires independent contractors to provide production-operators with minimal information necessary to the conduct of an MSHA inspection. 30 CFR 45.4(b) requires production-operators to maintain this information in written form at the mine, and to make the information available to an inspector upon request.
In order to accomplish this purpose, both the independent contractor and the production-operator have responsibilities under Section 45.4(a). In the event that an independent contractor refuses to provide the production-operator with the necessary information, the contractor is subject to citation for failure to comply with Section 45.4(a). In addition, if a production-operator refuses to make the necessary information available to the inspector, he or she is subject to citation for violation of Section 45.4(b).
However, there may be instances where the information required by Section 45.4 is not immediately available due to an inadvertent omission which is quickly corrected. For example, where contracts are kept at the mine's central or headquarters office, and a particular independent contractor has begun work on the mine property without the knowledge of the local mine, the inspector should consider all factors relevant to the particular case. If the necessary information can be secured in a reasonable time, no violation for failure to keep an accurate register should be found to exist.
In all cases, it should be kept in mind that Section 45.4 is intended to give the inspector sufficient information so that a fair and efficient inspection can be made. If that information promptly is made available to the inspector so that this goal can be accomplished, then there is no violation of Section 45.4. PART 46 Training and Retraining of Miners Engaged in Shell Dredging or Employed at Sand, Gravel, Surface Stone, Surface Clay, Colloidal Phosphate, or Surface Limestone Mines
General Section 115 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and 30 CFR Part 46 require operators to have an approved training plan under which miners are provided training. Part 46 training plans are considered "approved" if they contain, at a minimum, the information listed in § 46.3(b). Plans that do not contain the minimum information listed in § 46.3(b) must be submitted to MSHA for approval.
Each mine operator is responsible for complying with all applicable provisions of Part 46. Therefore, operators are required to provide all required miner training.
Independent contractors working on mine property must comply with the requirements of Part 46 (see "§ 46.12 Responsibility for Independent Contractor Training"). This includes developing their own training plan that meets the minimum requirements of Part 46 and providing appropriate training.
Industries Affected by Part 46
Part 46 applies to miners working at surface shell dredging, sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, colloidal phosphate, surface limestone, marble, granite, sandstone, slate, shale, traprock, kaolin, cement, feldspar, and lime mines.
Surface Areas of Underground Mines
Underground mines and their surface areas are covered by Part 48. The Part 46 regulations do not apply to training for miners who work at surface areas of underground mines. Miners who work in such areas must continue to receive training that complies with the Part 48 training regulations.
Government Officials on Part 46 Properties
Government officials visiting a mine site are not required to receive Part 46 training. However, MSHA expects those government agencies whose personnel visit mine sites will ensure that their employees are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment, and receive adequate instruction and training. Where training is not provided, such government officials should be accompanied by an experienced miner.
Satisfying both Part 46 and Part 48 requirements
MSHA will allow independent contractors who work at both Part 46 and Part 48 surface mining operations to comply with the training requirements of Part 48, instead of complying with both training rules. This will eliminate the need for developing two training plans and complying with two record-keeping requirements. These contractors may choose to comply with the New Miner, Experienced Miner, Task, and Annual Refresher Training programs of Part 48 to satisfy the training requirements for both regulations. Independent contractors who choose to follow this policy must have their own Part 48 training plan approved by MSHA.
Part 46 defines construction workers who are exposed to hazards of mining operations as miners. Independent contractors that perform construction work on Part 46 properties may train under their own approved Part 48 training plan to satisfy the Part 46 requirement for training construction workers who are exposed to hazards of mining operations.
Operators, at Part 46 operations, remain responsible for ensuring that Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training (§ 46.11) is provided to these contractors.
46.2(b) "Competent Person" Part 46 does not require that "competent persons" be approved by MSHA. A "competent person," is a person who is designated by the production-operator or independent contractor who has the ability, training, knowledge, or experience to provide training to miners in his or her area of expertise. The competent person must be able to effectively communicate the training subject to miners, and evaluate whether the training given to miners is effective.
A competent person may be credited for receiving any training they provide toward their own training requirements.
46.2(c) "Equivalent Experience"
"Equivalent experience" is defined in Part 46 as work experience where the person performed duties similar to duties performed in mining operations at surface mines. "Equivalent experience" includes such things as working at a construction site or other types of jobs where the miner has duties similar to the duties at the mine. These duties could include working as a heavy equipment operator, truck driver on a highway construction site, skilled craftsman, or plant operator. To determine equivalent experience, production-operators and independent contractors must evaluate the work history of newly-hired employees in determining whether the employees are "experienced" miners. This determination is subject to review by MSHA as part of our verification that production-operators and independent contractors have complied with the training requirements of Part 46.
46.2(d) "Experienced Miner"
Part 46 lists four ways to become an experienced miner.
- 1. Employed as a miner on April 14, 1999; or
2. Twelve months of cumulative surface mining or equivalent experience on or before October 2, 2000; or
3. Began employment as a miner after April 14, 1999, but before October 2, 2000 and who has received new miner training under § 48.25 or under the proposed requirements published April 14, 1999; or
4. Employed as a miner on or after October 2, 2000 and completed 24 hours of new miner training under § 46.5 or under § 48.25 and has at least 12 cumulative months of surface mining or equivalent experience.
A miner is a person, including any operator or supervisor, who works at a mine and who is engaged in mining operations. This definition includes independent contractors and employees of independent contractors who are engaged in mining operations; and construction workers who are exposed to hazards of mining operations for frequent or extended periods.
The definition of "miner" does not include scientific workers; delivery workers; customers (including commercial over-the-road truck drivers); vendors; or visitors.
Commercial over the road truck drivers are required to have Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training. Part 46 affords operators the discretion to tailor Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training to the unique operations and conditions at their mines. However, the training must in all cases be sufficient to alert affected persons to site-specific hazards. Under Part 46, Hazard Awareness training is intended to be appropriate for the individual who is receiving it and that the breadth and depth of training vary depending on the skills, background, and job duties of the recipient.
This definition of "miner" also does not include maintenance or service workers who do not work at a mine site for frequent or extended periods.
"Frequent" exposure is defined as a pattern of exposure to hazards at mining operations occurring intermittently and repeatedly over time. "Extended" exposure means exposure to hazards at mining operations of more than five consecutive work days.
46.2(h) "Mining Operations"
Mining operations means mine development, drilling, blasting, extraction, milling, crushing, screening, or sizing of minerals at a mine; maintenance and repair of mining equipment; and associated haulage of materials within the mine from these activities.
46.2(k) "Normal Work Hours"
Normal working hours is defined as "a period of time during which a miner is otherwise scheduled to work." For example, if miners on occasion work on Saturday, they can be trained on Saturday. Part 46 also requires that miners who are being trained be paid at a rate of pay they would have received had they been performing their normal work tasks.
46.3 "Training Plans"
All mining operations which fall under Part 46 must develop and implement a written training plan. Independent contractors who employ "miners" are also primarily responsible for providing comprehensive training to their employees. This requires independent contractors to develop a training plan containing effective programs for providing this training. If arrangements are made to receive training from the production-operator, it must be indicated in the independent contractor's training plan.
A training plan can be used for more than one mine. The plan must list all mine names and MSHA mine identification numbers and must cover all the appropriate training requirements, including Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training, at each mine listed on the plan.
A training plan is considered approved by MSHA if it contains, at a minimum, the following information:
1. The name of the production-operator or independent contractor, mine name(s), and MSHA mine identification number(s) or independent contractor identification number(s).
MSHA does not require independent contractors to get an MSHA identification number for purposes of Part 46. However, if an independent contractor wants to obtain an MSHA identification number, please contact the local MSHA district office, or to file online go to the MSHA Internet Home Page (WWW.MSHA.gov) and click on the tab titled "Forms & On-line Filings."
2. The name and position of the person designated by the operator who is responsible for the health and safety training at the mine. This person may be the production-operator or independent contractor. Some operators, particularly those that operate large facilities, may want the flexibility of having more than one person who can certify that training has been completed. These operators may list more than one person as being responsible for training.
3. A general description of the teaching methods and the course materials that are to be used in the training program, including the subject areas to be covered and the approximate time or range of time to be spent on each subject area.
"Approximate time" means the operator's reasonable estimate of the amount of time that will be spent on a particular subject. For example, the time listed for a particular subject may be "approximately 3 hours," recognizing that when the training is actually given it may require more or less time than is indicated in the training plan. This flexibility allows for adjustments based on changing mine conditions or operations, including the needs and experience of the individuals who receive the training.
When a range of time is used for each subject, the maximum times listed for each subject must be equal to or exceed the required hours for new miner (24) and annual refresher (8) training as required by the regulation. When stating a range it cannot start with a zero.
Remember: In all cases a miner must receive no less than 24 hours of new miner training and 8 hours of annual refresher training annually.
4. A list of the persons and/or organizations that will provide the training, and the subject areas in which each person and/or organization is competent to instruct.
The training plan must include all "competent persons" who will instruct in all subjects, including the name of the person who will provide only one type of task training. It is acceptable to indicate the names of several potential instructors for one subject or course, where the operator may call on one of several competent persons to provide the training. While it is acceptable to list the organizations who will instruct on the training plan, the certificates of training must list the specific competent person's name who provides the training.
5. The evaluation procedures used to determine the effectiveness of training.
Part 46 does not require a specific evaluation method. Instead the rule allows you to select the method that will best determine if training has been effective. Possible evaluation methods include administering written or oral tests, or a demonstration by the miner that he or she can perform all required duties or tasks in a safe and healthful manner.
In addition, periodic work observations can be used to identify areas where additional training may be needed and such observations, along with feedback from the miners, could be used to modify and enhance the training program.
If MSHA discovers that a plan does not meet the minimum requirements of Part 46 one of two actions must be taken.
1) The operator can amend the plan to comply with the requirements of Part 46.3(b) or
2) If you want to conduct training in accordance with the plan that does not meet the minimum information specified in § 46.3(b), the plan must be submitted and approved by the Regional Manager, Educational Field Services Division, for the region in which the mine is located. Until the plan is approved no training can be conducted under the plan. Their addresses are:
- Eastern Regional Manager
Educational Field Services
National Mine Health and
1301 Airport Road
Beaver, WV 25813-9426
Telephone: (304) 256-3223
FAX: (304) 256-3319
E-mail: zzMSHA-EPD - EFS East Group
Western Regional Manager
Educational Field Services
P.O. Box 25367
Denver, CO 80225-0367
Telephone: (303) 231-5434
FAX: (304) 231-5474
E-mail: zzMSHA-EPD - EFS West Group
If the competent person listed in the approved training plan cannot provide the training, and the training is scheduled within 2 weeks, the operator may substitute an unlisted competent person for the listed competent person without the 2 week advance notice, provided that the operator informs all miners to be trained and their representatives prior to substituting the competent person, and provided that no miners or their representatives object to the substitution.
Availability of Training Plan
Section 46.3(i) requires a copy of the training plan to be produced within one business day of a request by MSHA or the miners or their representatives. The following example explains our policy for one business day.
If MSHA requests that an operator produce a training plan for examination on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., the deadline for producing the plan would be 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. If MSHA requests that an operator produce a plan at 2:00 p.m. on Friday at a mine that does not operate over the weekend, the deadline for producing the plan would be 2:00 p.m. on Monday.
46.4 "Training Plan Implementation"
46.4(a)(3) "Presented in language understood by the miners"
Training received by miners in Part 46 must be presented in a language they understand. In addition, if warning signs at the mine serve as a component of the Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training, the signs must be in a language or languages that are understood by the persons who come onto the mine site.
If a competent person is providing training to a group, and some individuals are not fluent in English, it is permissible to use a person who is not a competent person as a translator. When using a translator, the operator or contractor should ensure the translator has the ability to translate the information accurately and completely. Further, the translator should be familiar with the subject and terminology in the language being translated, not just in English.
46.4(c) "Crediting Training"
Health and safety training required by OSHA or other federal or state agencies may be credited to meet Part 46 requirements. The training must be relevant to the subjects required under Part 46, and documented accordingly.
MSHA considers computer based or other interactive training technologies to be training "methods," to be used by a competent person effectively and appropriately. This would not necessarily require that the competent person be in the room at all times; however, the competent person must be available to evaluate the trainee's progress, and answer questions as they arise.
46.5 "New Miner Training"
A person who is beginning employment as a miner with a production-operator or independent contractor and who is not an experienced miner as defined in definitions under "Experienced Miner," is a new miner for training purposes.
A miner who has less than 12 cumulative months of surface mining or equivalent experience who has completed New Miner Training under Part 46 or Part 48 Subpart B, within 36 months before beginning work at a mine does not have to repeat new miner training (§ 46.5(f)). However, this miner must receive 4 hours of training covering the 7 initial subjects listed in § 46.5(b).
For example, a miner completes 24 hours of New Miner Training and leaves the mine after working 6 months. The miner then begins work at another mine 6 months later or 12 months since receiving New Miner Training. Since the miner has not fulfilled the 12 months of mining or equivalent experience and begins work at another mine within 36 months, the miner must receive 4 hours of training in the 7 initial subjects listed in § 46.5(b) before going to work.
Section 46.5(e) requires that new miners be under the "close observation" of a competent person when practicing as part of the health and safety aspects of an assigned task. "Close observation" means that the competent person must have the ability to observe a new miner's work practices during task training ensuring the miner is not jeopardizing his or her own health and safety or that of others. This does not mean that the competent person must completely abandon his or her normal duties, as long as the competent person can adequately monitor the work practice. However, in some situations, the competent person may have to cease normal work duties to ensure that this performance-based standard is met.
If the training for a specific task is completed, the miner no longer needs to be under the close observation of a competent person. However, since the miner has not completed the 24 hours of "New Miner Training," the miner is required to work where an experienced miner can observe his or her work practices until the 24 hours of training is completed.
A competent person may not be able in some instances to ride on a piece of mobile equipment with the trainee. When available, the passenger seat is the best location for a competent person providing training to a miner in safe operation of the equipment. However, when a passenger seat is not available, the competent person should be positioned in a safe location in close proximity to the equipment being operated. The competent person should closely observe and monitor the miner's actions from that location.
Hands-on training can be counted toward the training required for miners under § 46.5 and § 46.6. Part 46 allows practice under the "close observation of a competent person" to be used to fulfill the requirements for training on the health and safety aspects of assigned tasks required for new miners under § 46.5(b)(4) and newly hired experienced miners under § 46.6(b)(4). The time spent in training may be used to fulfill the training requirements as outlined in the training plan.
Location of Independent Contractor Training
Independent contractors with employees that are required to have 24 hours of new miner training under Part 46 are not required to provide this training on the mine property where their employees will be working. However, when an employee of an independent contractor goes to a mine site, he or she must receive appropriate Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training applicable to the miner's exposure to mine hazards (remember, independent contractors who have received New Miner Training, must also be current with their Annual Refresher Training requirements before working on a mine property).
This Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training could include site-specific health and safety risks, such as geologic or environmental conditions, recognition and avoidance of hazards such as electrical and powered haulage hazards, traffic patterns and control, and restricted areas; and warning and evacuation signals, evacuation and emergency procedures, or other special safety procedures.
46.6 "Newly Hired Experienced Miner Training"
Part 46 does not specify a minimum length of time that must be devoted to this training. The duration of the training needed by a newly hired experienced miner depends on the occupational experience of the miner, the work duties that the miner will perform, and the methods of mining and workplace conditions at the mine where the miner will be working. Except as explained below, the seven subjects listed in § 46.6(b) must be covered before assigning the miner to work.
A newly hired experienced miner who returns to the same mine, following an absence of 12 months or less, is not required to receive the Experienced Miner Training under § 46(b) and (c). Instead the miner must be provided with training on any changes at the mine that occurred during the miner's absence that could adversely affect the miner's health or safety. This training must be given before the miner begins work at the mine. If the miner missed any part of annual refresher training under § 46.8 during the absence, the miner must be provided the missed training no later than 90 calendar days after the returning miner begins work at the mine.
There are no specific requirements for tracking, recording or verifying the accumulation of experience. It is the operator's responsibility to determine the miner's experience based on the miner's work and training history.
When hiring a new experienced miner, Part 46 does not require any specific proof of experience or documentation. However, a reasonable effort should be made to justify previous experience. This may include talking to previous employers, reviewing a resume, pay records, training records, etc.
Experienced miners, who are current with their annual refresher training and the appropriate task training and who move from one mine site to another but remain employed by the same production-operator or independent contractor, are required to receive Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training at each mine where they work.
46.7 New Task Training
Part 46 does not specify the amount of time that must be spent on task training. The performance-oriented approach of Part 46 allows for the needs of individual miners to be taken into account when determining the amount of time. A reasonable amount of time must be allotted for training in each task, based on the individual needs of the miner and the complexity of the assigned task.
If an experienced miner is trained on a specific piece of equipment and is then assigned to operate a similar piece of equipment that is a different model or made by a different manufacturer, that miner is required to receive new task training on the new piece of equipment. Although there may be similarities among different types of equipment, each type of equipment has unique operational characteristics. Miners must be trained on the unique characteristics of each piece of equipment that they are assigned to operate.
Under Part 46 the written training plan must address each task for which training will be conducted. The training plan must include a general description of the teaching methods, course materials, evaluation methods and competent person(s) who will conduct the training. Additionally, the plan must list the approximate time or range of time to be spent on each task training.
The time spent conducting each type of task training must be recorded and listed on the certificate of training form. A "record" of task training must be made at the completion of new task training. New task training records must be "certified" at least once every 12 months or upon request by the miner.
Task training can be a part of new miner training. Although it has a slightly different name, new miners must receive instruction on the health and safety aspects of the tasks to be assigned, including the safe work procedures of such tasks, and the mandatory health and safety standards pertinent to such tasks.
Hands-on training can be used to complete task training. The regulation provides that; "practice under the close observation of a competent person may be used to fulfill the requirement for task training." While training under close observation may be done in a production mode, emphasis should be placed on the training and not the production.
46.8 Annual Refresher Training
Section 46.8 requires that annual refresher training include instruction on changes at the mine that could adversely affect the miners' health or safety. In addition, refresher training must also address other health and safety subjects that are relevant to mining operations at the mine. Section 46.8 includes an extensive list of recommended subjects for refresher training. The flexibility of the performance-based approach of Part 46 allows production-operators and independent contractors to determine the subjects to be covered in annual refresher training based on the needs of their workforce and their operations.
In the regulation, the section on annual refresher training lists recommended subjects that could be included in the training. It is not acceptable to list all these subjects on the training plan and choose different subjects from year-to-year. The training plan needs to accurately represent each subject which you plan to cover during annual refresher training.
As a reminder, if this list is modified, the miners' representative, if any, must be provided with a copy of the plan at least 2 weeks before the plan is implemented. If no miners' representative has been designated, post a copy of the plan at the mine or provide a copy to each miner at least 2 weeks before the plan is implemented.
Annual Refresher Training Anniversary Dates
Annual refresher training anniversary dates are tracked monthly. For example, if a miner completed annual refresher training some time in February, the next annual refresher training must be completed by the end of the following February.
§ 46.9 Records of Training
Part 46 requires that operators record and certify the training that miners receive. Recording means creating a written record of the training. The record must include:
o the full name of the person trained;
o the type of training;
o duration of training;
o the date the training was received;
o the name of the competent person who provided the training;
o name of mine or independent contractor;
o MSHA mine identification or independent contractor number (if applicable); and
o location of training (if an institution, the name and address of institution).
Training records must be certified at:
o the completion of new miner training;
o the completion of newly hired experienced miner training;
o the completion of the 8 hours of annual refresher training;
o least once every 12 months for new task training or upon request by the miner; and
o the completion of Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training for miners
MSHA has developed a sample form which can be used. Both the sample form and the MSHA Form 5000-23 are available from MSHA's Internet Home Page (www.msha.gov), from MSHA's Educational Field Services Division, or from MSHA District and Field offices.
Under § 46.9(b), the records of training must include the name of the competent person who provided the training. If more than one competent person provided the training, the names of all persons must be included.
It is acceptable to list more than one miner on a record or certificate of training. Part 46 allows operators flexibility in choosing the appropriate form for records of training, provided that the form used includes the minimum information specified in § 46.9(b)(1) through (b)(5).
The person who has been designated by the operator or independent contractor as responsible for health and safety training is required to certify, by signature, that training has been completed. This should not be confused with the "competent person" who conducts the training. For example, a state, vocational school or cooperative instructor listed in a training plan may conduct the training and be recorded as the competent person for each subject they teach. The person, who is designated as the person responsible for Part 46 as indicated on the training plan, must certify that the training was completed.
Making Records Available to MSHA
A copy of each miner's training records and certificates must be made available for inspection by MSHA and for examination by miners and their representatives. This includes both certified training records and records that have not yet been certified.
Maintaining Training Plans and Records
Operators and contractors must make available for inspection by MSHA and by miners and their representatives training plans, training records and certificates (§ 46.9 (g)). If the training plan, training records or certificates are not physically kept at the mine site, they must be "produced upon request;" such as by having them sent from another location via fax machine or computer. Training plans must be made available within one business day, but training records, and certificates with the signature of the person responsible for health and safety training must be made available before inspection activity at the mine concludes for the day. The reason for the difference is a matter of urgency. If a miner is untrained or improperly trained, it is a hazard to the miner and to other miners.
Training records and certificates must be made available to the inspector at the mine site. The inspector may choose, as a matter of convenience, to inspect the records at the office or location where the records are maintained or have them faxed to an MSHA office for his or her inspection that day.
Training Certificates for People who are not Considered Miners
A record of training is not required for Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training for persons who are not miners under § 46.2. However, operators must be able to provide evidence to us, upon request, that the training, when applicable, was provided. This evidence may include the training materials used, including appropriate warning signs, written information distributed to persons, or a visitor log book that reflects that Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training has been given.
46.10 Compensation for Training
Training under Part 46 must be conducted during normal working hours, and the miner must receive the same rate of pay he or she would have received if performing normal tasks at that time. For example, if a miner is paid at time and a half for working on Saturday, the miner must be paid at that same rate for receiving training on Saturday.
46.11 Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training
Part 46 provides that Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training may be provided through the use of written hazard warnings, oral instruction, signs and posted warnings, walkaround training, or other appropriate means that alert affected persons to site-specific hazards at the mine. Part 46 allows the flexibility to tailor hazard awareness training to the specific conditions and practices at the mine. In many cases, an effective Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training program will include a combination of different types of training. The training must be sufficient to alert affected persons to site-specific hazards.
Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training is not required for any person who is accompanied at all times by an experienced miner who is familiar with hazards specific to the mine site.
46.12 Responsibility for Independent Contractor Training
Section 46.12(a)(1) establishes that the production-operator has primary responsibility for ensuring that Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training is given to employees of independent contractors, while § 46.12(b)(1) establishes that each independent contractor who employs a miner under this Part has primary responsibility for complying with other required training. MSHA views § 46.12 as a regulatory indication of whom the agency will cite for training violations under ordinary circumstances. Both the production-operator and the independent contractor share the responsibility that all miners receive all required training, and in extraordinary circumstances, MSHA may determine that both the production-operator and the independent contractor should be held liable for training violations.
Even though the production-operator has primary responsibility for ensuring that Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training is provided, there may be times where it is more practical for the independent contractor to provide the training. Production-operators may provide independent contractors with site-specific hazard awareness information or training materials and arrange for the independent contractors to provide the training to the contractors' employees. Where this arrangement is made, the production-operator must list the independent contractor by name and document in their training plan that the independent contractor identified will be providing Site-specific Hazard Awareness Training. Even under this arrangement, the production-operator is still responsible for ensuring that the appropriate training is provided.
Independent Contractor Training Records
Independent contractors who are miners as defined by Part 46, must make available at the mine site where they are working, a copy of each miner's training certificate for inspection.
PART 48 .... TRAINING AND RETRAINING OF MINERS
48.1/48.21 Scope General
Section 115 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and 30 CFR Part 48 require operators to submit and obtain approval of training plans under which miners are provided training. The training required by these plans must be provided to miners before they begin work at a mine, or before they receive new work tasks or assignments.
Requirements Related to Hiring and Recall Decisions
When making hiring and recall decisions, mine operators may consider the training persons will need under 30 CFR Part 48 before they begin work. Operators are permitted to require that applicants for employment and laid-off persons obtain this training initially on their own time and at their own expense.
Preemployment training for purposes of Part 48 may be available from cooperative sources, as described in Sections 48.4 and 48.24. If cooperative sources are used, portions of miner training must be mine-specific. Part 48.5 requires that approximately 8 hours of a new miners' underground training be given at the mine site. In addition, training requirements for new and experienced surface miners and experienced underground miners must also be provided mine-specific training. Some examples of these requirements include training in the provisions of the mine roof or ground control and ventilation plans, the use of the self-rescue devices provided at the mine, and the mine transportation and communication systems.
Each operator is responsible for complying with all applicable provisions of Part 48. Therefore, operators should be prepared to provide all required miner training. This compliance responsibility is not limited by training plans that do not provide for certain training, such as that required for a new miner.
Industries Affected by Part 48
Part 48 applies to coal mines, underground metal and nonmetal mines, surface metal mines, and certain surface nonmetal mines that are not in the following industries: surface stone, surface clay, sand and gravel, surface limestone, colloidal phosphate, and shell dredging mines and other surface operations that produce marble, granite, sandstone, slate, shale, traprock, kaolin, cement, feldspar, and lime. These mining industries must comply with the training requirements of Part 46.
48.2/48.22 Definitions 48.2(a)(1)/48.22(a)(1) "Miner"
The determination of whether an individual is classified as a 48.2(a)(1)/48.22(a)(1) "miner" for purposes of comprehensive training or as a 48.2(a)(2)/48.22(a)(2) "miner" for purposes of hazard training must be made on a case-by-case basis. A specific job title does not necessarily determine how the individual is defined; neither does the fact that the worker is physically present on mine property. A determination must be made as to the kind and extent of mining hazard exposure.
Individuals engaged in the extraction or production process, or regularly exposed to mine hazards, or contracted by the operator and regularly exposed to mine hazards, must receive comprehensive training. "Regularly exposed" means either frequent exposure, that is exposure to hazards at the mine on a frequent rather than consecutive day basis (a pattern of recurring exposure), or extended exposure of more than 5 consecutive workdays, or both.
Individuals not engaged in the extraction and production process, not regularly exposed to mine hazards, or inconsequentially exposed to mine hazards must receive the appropriate Sections 48.11/48.31 hazard training.
The training exemption for mining supervisors who are certified in accordance with MSHA-approved state certification requirements under Sections 48.2(a)(1)(ii)/48.22(a)(1)(ii) has been removed. Mining supervisors are now considered to be miners under Part 48 and are required to be trained.
A. Coverage and Training Requirements
Independent contractors working at a mine are miners for Part 48 training purposes, except as explained below.
This policy statement does not affect an operator's responsibility to ensure that all miners are appropriately trained. Part 48 requires training prior to performing work in or on mine property. This includes an operator's responsibility to conduct mine-specific training.
This policy does not cover independent contractors who are surface construction workers or workers involved in underground mine construction work that causes the mine to cease operations. All other independent contractors must receive the appropriate Part 48 training.
Sections 48.2(a)(1) and 48.22(a)(1) define miners including independent contractors who are to receive comprehensive training. Sections 48.2(a)(2) and 48.22(a)(2) define miners including independent contractors who are to receive hazard training.
B. Independent Contractor Training
The appropriate training will be either the comprehensive training (new miner training, experienced miner training, task training, and annual refresher training) or hazard training.
1. Comprehensive Training
Independent contractors must receive comprehensive training if they perform extraction and production work or are regularly exposed to mine hazards.
- a. Determination of Appropriate Comprehensive Training
Whether an independent contractor should receive the new miner training (Section 48.5 or 48.25) or the experienced miner training (Section 48.6 or 48.26) depends on whether the miner is an "experienced miner" under Section 48.2(b) or 48.22(b).
b. Extraction and Production
No work time minimum is associated with this provision. Independent contractors who perform extraction and production work must receive the appropriate comprehensive training. "Extraction and production" refers to the process of mining and removal of coal or ore from a mine. This process includes both the mechanical and chemical separating of coal from the surrounding rock and metal or valuable minerals from ore and concentrate; removal and milling of conglomerates or rocks by crushing, screening, or sizing; and haulage associated with these processes.
Short-term independent contractors who perform extraction and production work and have received experienced miner training may, instead of receiving experienced miner training for each subsequent mine, receive hazard training (see Sections 48.2(a)(1)/48.22(a)(1)).
The experienced miner training such contractors receive initially may be largely generic. The training must be of sufficient duration and content to cover the principles of mine safety and health, as well as the types of hazards they might encounter at the mines. Thorough hazard training satisfies the mine-specific training through the program approved as part of the approved training plan.
c. Maintenance or Service Workers Who are Regularly Exposed to Mine Hazards
Independent contractors who are regularly exposed to mine hazards, or who are maintenance or service workers contracted by the operator to work at a mine for frequent or extended periods, must receive comprehensive training. "Regularly exposed" means either frequent exposure, that is exposure to hazards at the mine on a frequent rather than consecutive day basis (a pattern of recurring exposure), or extended exposure of more than 5 consecutive workdays, or both.
d. Selection of Training Programs
Independent contractors may submit their own training plans and conduct their own MSHA-approved training program, use an MSHA-approved cooperative program, or use the MSHA-approved training program for the mine.
2. Hazard Training
Independent contractors not previously described who are exposed to mine hazards are to receive hazard training under Sections 48.11/48.31.
Independent contractor exposure to hazards varies from situation to situation. Hazard training must be tailored to fit the training needs of the particular contractor. Training these contractors receive must be of sufficient content and duration to thoroughly cover the mine-specific conditions, procedures, and safety devices. Training must include hazards incident to the performance of all job assignments by the contractor at the mine. An experienced miner must accompany independent contractors subject to hazard training at all times while underground (Section 48.11(e)).
Construction work includes the building or demolition of any facility, the building of a major addition to an existing facility, and the assembling of a major piece of new equipment, such as installing a new crusher or the assembling of a major piece of equipment such as a dragline.
A. Underground Mines
If construction work is of a major addition that causes the mine to cease operations, no training is required under Part 48. However, Part 48 training is required if the:
- 1. construction work is not of a "major addition which requires the mine to cease operations;" or
2. mine is "operational" (that is, if the mine is producing material or if a regular maintenance shift is ongoing).
No training is required under Part 48 if workers are performing construction work.
Persons Performing Maintenance or Repair Work
Maintenance or repair work includes the upkeep or alteration of equipment or facilities. Replacement of a conveyor belt would be considered maintenance or repair.
A person performing maintenance or repair work, whether or not the mine is operational, must receive the appropriate comprehensive or hazard training under Subpart A or B. The type of training depends upon whether the person is regularly exposed to mine hazards.
Miners Performing Work at More Than One Mine
If a miner is based at one mine or at a central shop and periodically works at other mines owned by the operator, the miner must receive comprehensive training under Subparts A and B, as appropriate, supplemented by additional hazard training, as under Section 48.11/48.31, at each of the other mines.
Underground and Surface Miners - Crediting Training
A miner who works in both an underground mine and a surface mine or surface area of an underground mine must have received comprehensive underground and surface training under Subparts A and B. Credit should be allowed for applicable training taken under one subpart to meet requirements of the other subpart.
For hazard training (Sections 48.11/48.31), a "miner" is a person who is not an extraction and production worker and who is not regularly exposed to mine hazards. "Regularly exposed" means either frequent exposure, that is exposure to hazards at the mine on a frequent rather than consecutive day basis (a pattern of recurring exposure), or extended exposure of more than 5 consecutive workdays, or both.
Miners included within the definition must be accompanied by an experienced miner at all times while underground. The required training should be commensurate with the expected exposure to hazards.
48.2(b)/48.22(b) "Experienced Miner"
Under Section 48.2(b), an "experienced miner" is:
- 1. a miner who has completed MSHA approved new miner training for underground miners or training acceptable to MSHA from a State agency and who has had at least 12 months of underground mining experience; or
2. a supervisor who is certified under an MSHA approved State certification program and who is employed as an underground supervisor on October 6, 1998; or
3. an experienced underground miner on February 3, 1999.
- An experienced underground miner on February 3, 1999 includes a miner:
a. who was employed as an underground miner on October 13, 1978;
b. who has received 40 hours of new miner training within 12 months prior to February 3, 1999; or
c. who has had at least 12 months of underground mining experience during the 3 years preceding February 3, 1999.
- 1. a miner who has completed MSHA approved new miner training for surface miners or training acceptable to MSHA from a State agency and who has had at least 12 months of surface mining experience; or
2. a supervisor who is certified under an MSHA approved State certification program and who is employed as a surface supervisor on October 6, 1998; or
3. an experienced surface miner on February 3, 1999.
- An experienced surface miner on February 3, 1999 includes a miner:
a. who was employed as a surface miner on October 13, 1978;
b. who has received 24 hours of new miner training within 12 months prior to February 3, 1999; or
c. who has had at least 12 months of surface mining experience during the 3 years preceding February 3, 1999.
Miners included in any of the above categories need not be provided new miner training. However, experienced miner, annual refresher, and, when appropriate, task training are required.
After receiving new miner training, a miner will need to accumulate 12 months of mining experience to be considered an "experienced miner" for training purposes. If the miner leaves mining before accumulating the 12 months of mining experience and:
- A. less than 36 months has passed since receiving new miner training, the miner must receive experienced miner training before starting work.
B. more than 36 months has passed since receiving new miner training, the miner must repeat new miner training.
48.2(c)/48.22(c) "New Miner"
Persons who do not meet the criteria for experienced miners found in Sections 48.2(b)/48.22(b) must receive new miner training (Sections 48.5/48.25) when starting to work or returning to work after an absence of more than 3 years to obtain experienced miner status.
A. Underground Mines
An experienced surface miner who begins work in an underground mine is, for training purposes, a new miner, and must be provided new miner training under Section 48.5. Credit is allowed for applicable surface training (Subpart B).
B. Surface Mines or Surface Areas of Underground Mines
An experienced underground miner who begins work in a surface mine or surface area of an underground mine is for training purposes a new miner, and must be provided new miner training under Section 48.25. Credit is allowed for applicable underground training (Subpart A).
48.2(d)/48.22(d) "Normal Working Hours"
Training may only be conducted during "normal working hours." "Normal working hours" are determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors such as past practices and patterns of scheduling work should be considered.
Miners attending a Part 48 training session during "normal working hours" must be paid at the rate they would receive if they were working at the time. A reasonable rest period between training sessions and working shifts should be provided.
Independent contractors are responsible for the Part 48 training of their employees (see 30 CFR Part 45 and this manual for more information). A contractor may have his/her own training plan or may utilize the mine operator's plan.
48.3/48.23 Training Plans; Time of Submission; Where Filed; Information Required;
Time for Approval; Method for Disapproval; Commencement of Training;
Approval of Instructors
Sections 48.3(a)(1)/48.23(a)(1), 48.3(a)(2)/48.23(a)(2), and 48.3(k)/48.23(k) are no longer applicable. These sections were intended to allow operators time for initial implementation of Part 48. Each operator now has ample time to prepare a training plan prior to opening a new mine or reopening a closed mine, and is, therefore, expected to provide training prior to assigning work duties.
Each operator must submit the information required by Section 48.3(c)/48.23(c), and may use a format that is logical and reasonable. There is an optional electronic version available on the MSHA Homepage (www.msha.gov).
Operators must indicate a predicted time that training will occur, such as the first week of each quarter. Specific days and times of the training can be obtained by MSHA, as needed, upon request.
If changes are made to the list of MSHA approved instructors, they are not required to be submitted to MSHA for approval, provided that the list of approved instructors is maintained with the approved plan at the mine and is made available for MSHA inspection and examination by the miners and their representatives. Mine operators are still responsible for notifying the miners and miners' representative of any revisions to their list of MSHA approved instructors.
If a change in mine ownership results in changes in procedures or conditions at the mine, a new training plan must be submitted to MSHA for approval. If conditions and procedures do not change, the new operator may continue to utilize the current plan with appropriate administrative changes, pending a review by the District Manager. If plan changes are required in accordance with Sections 48.3(m)/48.23(m)(1,2,3), the District Manager will indicate in writing required changes and how the deficiencies can be corrected.
"Limited" Instructor Cards
Instructors designated by MSHA as approved instructors for surface operations (IS) or underground operations (IU) may be approved to teach all courses under the appropriate subpart of 30 CFR Part 48 or may be limited to teach only specific courses.
Effective August 1, 1988, those instructors who are approved to teach only specific courses under Part 48 must have the word "LIMITED" printed in the lower left corner of their MSHA Instructor Card.
No such designation will appear in the lower left corner of the MSHA Instructor Card for instructors who are approved without limitations.
Instructors for Task Training
Under Sections 48.3(g)/48.23(g), task training required by Sections 48.7/48.27 may be given by a qualified trainer, by an experienced supervisor, or by persons experienced in the particular task. Sections 48.3(c)(8)(ii)/48.23(c)(8)(ii) require listing in the training plan only the job titles of the persons conducting the task training, and not their names.
48.4/48.24 Cooperative Training Program
Training requirements for new miners and experienced miners (Sections 48.5/48.25 and 48.6/48.26) provide for mine specific training. Some examples of these requirements include: introduction to work environment; mine roof, ground controls, and ventilation plans; the use of self-rescue devices; escape and emergency procedures; mine transportation and communication systems; and the health control plan. Some subject matter may contain generic and mine-specific aspects. The mine-specific aspects may be addressed by the cooperative trainers or the mine operator. In all instances, new underground miner training given through a cooperative source must provide for approximately 8 hours of training to be given at the mine site where the miner is employed.
Annual refresher training (Sections 48.8/48.28) is required to cover such mine specific matters as the use of self rescuers, the review of roof or ground control plans, and health control plans. If the cooperative is to teach the annual refresher, the mine-specific aspects must be addressed.