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PURPOSE AND SCOPE
All active and intermittently active mineral mining operations required to report injury and employment data under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 are eligible to receive an MSHA Certificate of Achievement in Safety. Ten separate groups consisting of mining operations having similar characteristics are identified for the program. They are: underground coal mines, surface coal mines, coal processing facilities, underground metal mines, underground nonmetal mines, open pit mines (metal and nonmetal, except stone), open pit stone quarries, sand and gravel bank or pit operations, sand and gravel dredge operations, and metal and nonmetal mills. Each of the above groups are divided into large and small categories using median hours worked in each group thus creating twenty separate groups.

ELIGIBILITY
To be eligible for a certificate, a mining operation must: (1) have reported employment data to MSHA for each calendar quarter in which it was active during the calendar year (January 1 - December 31); (2) have not experienced a work injury in the subunits below that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability, days away from work, or days of restricted work activity; (3) have a No Days Lost (NDL) injury incidence rate (degree 6) no greater than the national incidence rate for these same subunits; and (4) have accumulated at least 4,000 employee-hours in these same subunits during the calendar year.

For mines in the underground groups, eligibility is determined from the hours-worked data reported on the MSHA Form 7000-2 (cumulated for the calendar year) in the underground subunit (subunit 01) and any associated surface shops and yards (subunit 02).

For the surface and open pit mines and quarries, eligibility is determined from the hours-worked data reported on the Form 7000-2 under the appropriate surface mining activity code (subunits 03, 04, and 06) including the associated shops and yards.

For the sand and gravel bank or pit group, eligibility is determined from the hours-worked data reported on Form 7000-2 under subunit code 03; and for the sand and gravel dredge group, eligibility is determined from the hours-worked data reported under subunit code 06.

For the coal processing facilities and metal and nonmetal mills group, eligibility is determined from the hours-worked data reported on Form 7000-2 under subunit code 30. For a COAL PROCESSING FACILITY to qualify, it must meet the definition of a facility that is under MSHA jurisdiction, where rock and/or other impurities are removed from the coal prior to it being transported for delivery.

Only data that was reported under a single MSHA ID number in a calendar year will be included. EMPLOYEE-HOURS AND INJURIES TO INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS OR AT OFFICES, INDEPENDENT SHOPS, CULM BANKS, OR "OTHER" OPERATIONS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE COMPUTATIONS EXCEPT IN THE CASE WHERE THERE IS A CHARGEABLE FATALITY AT THE MINE SITE WHICH WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.

REPORTS REQUIRED
Mining operations potentially eligible for a certificate are identified solely from injury and employment data reported on the MSHA Forms 7000-1 and 7000-2 as required by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and defined by 30 CFR Part 50.

VERIFICATION OF DATA
Operations potentially eligible for a certificate are mailed a notice advising them of their eligibility and requesting verification or correction of their employment and injury data as it appears in the records maintained at MSHA's Office of Injury and Employment Information (OIEI) in Denver, Colorado. To avoid errors on the certificate, operators should indicate any corrections to the hours-worked data and to the operation's name and address as it appears preprinted on the verification form.

CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT IN SAFETY
Certificates of Achievement in Safety are awarded to all participating operations that have met all of the certificate criteria. Mines or quarries operated by a Federal, State, County, or Municipal agency also are eligible for Certificates of Achievement in Safety.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS
Certificate recipients may be recognized by MSHA at safety conferences or other gatherings, and may be identified in various publications.