INTERPRETATION AND GUIDELINES
ON ENFORCEMENT OF
THE 1977 ACT
INTERPRETATION AND GUIDELINES
May 16, 1996
A. Underground Mines
An experienced surface miner who begins work in an underground mine is, for training purposes, a new miner and must receive new miner training under Section 48.5. The MSHA district manager may credit applicable surface training (Subpart B) toward the underground training (Subpart A) requirement.
B. Surface Mines and Surface Areas of Underground Mines
An experienced underground miner who begins work in a surface mine is, for training purposes, a new miner and must receive new miner training under Section 48.25. The MSHA district manager may credit applicable underground training (Subpart A) toward the surface training (Subpart B) requirements.
Job Site Training
Health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Job site training must be completed under close and continuous supervision of an approved instructor, with training, not production, as the primary goal. The training is acceptable if the following conditions are met:
- Instructors must follow an outline in which each step of the job is broken down into instructional units. The students must demonstrate safe performance of each job step. Several units may be combined in the same instructional period.
- All health and safety standards must be observed.
48.6/48.26 Experienced Miner Training
Health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Guidelines for job site training are set out under Sections 48.5/48.25 above.
When an experienced miner returns to the same mine following an absence of 12 months or less, the miner must be informed about major changes affecting safety or health that have occurred at the mine during the absence before the miner starts work. Also, the miner must complete annual refresher training as required in Section 48.8/48.28 before starting work, if the miner missed that training during the absence.
With one exception, there are no time requirements for experienced miner training. However, for miners returning to mining after an absence of 5 years or more, the returning "experienced miner" must receive at least 8 hours of experienced miner training.
48.7/48.27 Training of Miners Assigned to a Task in Which They Have Had No Previous Experience; Minimum Courses of Instruction
An appropriately completed Job Safety Analysis may be used as a training guide when conducting task training as long as it complies with the task training requirements of Part 48.
48.8/48.28 Annual Refresher Training of Miners; Minimum
Courses of Instruction; Hours of Instruction
Operators may provide annual refresher training at any time during the last calendar month of the miner's annual refresher training cycle. To illustrate this policy, miners who began work in July 2001 must complete their annual refresher training any time in July 2002. Accordingly, training records and schedules may be maintained on a monthly basis, rather than tracking each miner's individual training date. Also, operators should be encouraged to schedule annual refresher training at the beginning of the month so that if for some reason a miner misses the regularly scheduled training, there will still be a reasonable opportunity for the training to be made up before the end of the month.
Annual refresher training is required to cover such mine-specific matters as the review of roof or ground control plans and health control plans in effect at the mine.
Refresher health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Guidelines for job site training are set out under Sections 48.5/48.25.
- 1. When an experienced miner returns to the same mine following an absence of 12 months or less, the mine operator must provide annual refresher training based on the miner's original schedule before the absence. The miner must complete annual refresher training before starting work, if the miner missed that training during the absence. Also, the miner must receive training that covers major changes affecting safety or health that have occurred at the mine, before the miner starts work. This training may be credited toward the miner's annual refresher training.
2. When an experienced miner returns to the mine following an absence of more than 12 months, the operator must provide experienced miner training before the miner begins work. This starts a new annual refresher training date for this miner.
The above does not apply to experienced miners assigned to work underground or on the surface for the first time. These miners are "new miners" under the training regulations and must receive new miner training. Credit can be given for applicable underground or surface training.
Extension of Time to Complete Annual Refresher Training
The unexpected return of miners after absences may create a strain between the completion of quality refresher training and prompt return of the miners to productive employment.
In order to accommodate unforeseeable events, district managers may consider requests for limited extensions of time to complete annual refresher training. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and be granted only if:
1. The miners involved are experienced, as defined by Sections 48.2(b)/48.22(b).
2. Good faith efforts were made by the operator to train the miners before the annual refresher training anniversary date passed.
3. The miners, before returning to work, will be given any task training required by Sections 48.7/48.27, and will be thoroughly instructed in any changes in procedure at the mine or in the mining environment. In underground mines, these procedures must include changes in roof control, ventilation, emergency escapeways, and transportation controls.
4. The required annual refresher training will be promptly completed.
When extensions of time to complete annual refresher training are granted, such extensions should be confirmed in writing to the operator, stating the conditions of the extension and the date that refresher training will be completed. The completion date of this refresher training cycle initiates a new anniversary date.
Annual Refresher Guidelines for Training Plans
An effective refresher training program must be adapted to changes in mining conditions, accident history, and other training concerns. Time spent for each course may vary to meet specific needs. The following guidelines should be used to evaluate provisions for annual refresher training:
1. The required annual refresher training courses listed in Sections 48.8/48.28 that are not applicable to a particular mine may be omitted from that mine's training plan. A notation of which courses are not applicable should appear in the training plan.
2. An 8-hour minimum is required for the total annual refresher training program. However, the time spent on individual courses may vary from year to year or from one area of the mine to another depending on specific safety or health problems encountered. The mine's accident experience should significantly influence the amount and type of training miners receive throughout the year.
3. All applicable refresher training courses listed in the approved training plan are to be given during each 12- month cycle. However, two or more of the courses may be covered in one training session or safety meeting. For example, a well structured safety meeting may cover ground control, related safety standards, prevention of accidents, and other topics without the necessity of separate blocks of instruction.
4. Safety meetings of at least 30 minutes duration, conducted by an MSHA-approved instructor, and addressing appropriate course content are acceptable training sessions that satisfy the annual refresher requirements.
All Part 48 training must be properly recorded by the operator on an MSHA Form 5000-23 (training certificate), or on an MSHA approved alternate form. Alternate forms must include at least as much information as a Form 5000-23, and should be labeled MSHA Approved Alternate Form 5000-23 (current month and year). Forms proposed by the operator must be sent for approval to the Director of Educational Policy and Development, MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939.
Operators are required under Sections 48.9/48.29 to give a copy of the training certificate, MSHA Form 5000-23, or an approved alternate, to the miner upon completion of each MSHA approved training program. A "training program" is any miner training (i.e., new miner, newly employed experienced miner, task, annual refresher training or hazard training) completed during a 12- month training cycle.
In order to simplify record-keeping, all MSHA approved training
programs completed within a miner's 12-month training cycle may
be recorded on one Form 5000-23, provided the following
procedures are used:
- Each time a miner completes an MSHA approved training
program, the operator must initial and date the form
to certify that the miner has received the specified
training. Initialing and dating can be done in the
space on the form adjacent to the type of training.
Also, the miner should be given an opportunity to sign
or initial the form.
- When a MSHA approved program is completed and recorded
by the operator, a copy of the certificate must be
given to the miner upon request.
- At the end of the 12-month training cycle, or when the miner signs item 8 of the form, a copy of the completed form listing all completed training programs and signed by the operator or the operator's representative must be given to the miner.
The training certificate, MSHA Form 5000-23, has been revised so that all training completed by a miner during the 12-month cycle may be recorded on one form.
Under Sections 48.4/48.24, Cooperative Training Program, the cooperative trainer may sign the training certificate upon partial completion of cooperative training. Final signature upon completion of the program must be by the operator or his representative.
For Surface Mines and Surface Areas of Underground Mines
Under Section 48.31 Hazard Training, the operator may use a Form 5000-23 for hazard training. The Form 5000-23 need not be used, however, if the following situations satisfy hazard training requirements:
- Verbal instructions of mine hazard avoidance procedures
are given by mine personnel, and the person receiving
the instructions signs a log sheet indicating receipt
of the instructions.
- Written instructions of mine hazard avoidance procedures are supplied. The written instructions, signed by the person receiving them, or a log sheet signed by the recipient must be maintained as a record.
48.10/48.30 Compensation for Training
Sections 48.10/48.30 implement Section 115(b) of the Mine Act ("miners shall be paid at their normal rate of compensation while taking such training"). Sections 48.2(d)/48.22(d), which define "normal working hours," state in part that: "miners shall be paid at a rate of pay which shall correspond to the rate of pay they would have received had they been performing their normal work tasks."
The purpose of both the statute and the regulations is to assure that miners are not financially penalized when they receive training during work hours. For example, if a miner is "cross shifted," and the "cross shift" is considered normal working hours, the rate of pay the miner would receive if working is the rate the miner must receive while in training.
- mine specific, so that persons are advised of the
hazards they may encounter at a particular mine; and
- conducted each time a person enters a different mine.
Although the amount of required training may vary, the following are examples of appropriate training:
1. Employees of Equipment Manufacturers
- a. Employees who are on the mine site in a service or maintenance capacity must be given training in accordance with their exposure to hazards. If the specific job will not entail frequent or extended exposure to hazards at the mine, they need only be given hazard training.
If the job assignment of a service or maintenance worker is contracted to work at a mine for frequent or extended periods, and they are exposed to mining hazards, comprehensive training must be given -- either new miner training or experienced miner training, as appropriate. In addition, if appropriate, the employees must be provided with and instructed in the use and location of the self-rescue device made available at the mine as required by 30 CFR 75.1714, or meet the requirements for self-rescue devices as provided under 30 CFR 57.15030 and 57.15031, and trained pursuant to 57.18028(b), as applicable.
b. Manufacturers' field representatives, such as sales representatives, must be given training in accordance with their exposure to hazards at the mine. If they are regularly exposed to mine hazards, they must be given comprehensive training either new miner training, or experienced miner training, as appropriate.
2. Labor, Management or Government Officials
- a. Labor, management, or government officials visiting the mine site need not be given training. However, such persons should be accompanied by experienced miners and be provided with appropriate safety equipment and self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) training (see 30 CFR 57.15031 and 75.1714).
b. Authorized representatives of the Secretary of Labor or Secretary of Health and Human Services need not be given any Part 48 training or be accompanied when carrying out duties required by 30 CFR or by the Mine Act.
c. Contractors doing work for the government which requires their presence at the mine to observe conditions or to collect information must be given hazard training.
3. Customers and Delivery Persons
- a. For purposes of training, customers are individuals who are briefly on mine property to pick up mined materials.
The extent of customers' exposure to mine hazards varies. Training is not required if there is no exposure to mine hazards. Customers must receive hazard training commensurate to their exposure to mine hazards. In addition, they must be trained in the health and safety aspects and safe operating procedures of any mine machinery or equipment that they are required or allowed to operate while on mine property. Comprehensive training would apply to customers engaged in the extraction and production process.
b. Delivery persons are individuals who enter mine property briefly to deliver supplies, who are not engaged in the extraction and production process, or do not perform maintenance and service work.
Delivery persons must receive hazard training commensurate to their exposure to mine hazards. MSHA expects a realistic appraisal by the mine operator of the hazards associated with such jobs.
4. Other Visitors
- a. Underground Mines
Short-term visitors to mine sites who are not required to be provided Part 48 training must be provided with and instructed in the use and location of the self-rescue device made available at the mine as required by 30 CFR 75.1714, or meet the requirements for self-rescue devices as provided under 30 CFR 57.15030 and 57.15031, and trained pursuant to 30 CFR 57.18028(b), as applicable.
b. Surface Mines and Surface Areas of Underground Mines
Students on field trips and other short term visitors (1 day or less) need not be given Part 48 training. However, they should be accompanied by experienced miners and be provided with appropriate safety equipment.