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This page is intended to help you find answers to questions that are frequently presented to us via e-mail contacts with this agency. We hope you find this useful.

We will be updating this page on a regular basis. At some point, when we start to get more and more topics, this page will be broken down by topics and a "Search" capability will be added.


What is the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)?
  The mission of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is to administer the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents; to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents; to minimize health hazards; and to promote improved safety and health conditions in the Nation's mines. MSHA carries out the mandates of the Mine Act at all mining and mineral processing operations in the United States, regardless of size, number of employees, commodity mined, or method of extraction.

What is the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (also known as the Mine Act)?
  The Mine Act requires the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to inspect surface mines at least twice a year and underground mines at least four times a year (seasonal or intermittent operations are inspected less frequently). MSHA performs other important mandatory activities under the Mine Act. These include:
   -investigating mine accidents, complaints of retaliatory discrimination filed by miners, hazardous condition complaints, knowing or willful (criminal) violations committed by agents of mine operators, and petitions for modification of mandatory safety standards;
   -developing improved mandatory safety and health standards;
   -assessing and collecting civil monetary penalties for violations of mine safety and health standards;
   -expanding programs for the education and training of miners, operators and agents;
   -reviewing for approval mine operators' mining plans and education and training plans; and
   -approving and certifying the design of certain mining products.

I am having problems with my on-line filing. Who do I contact?
  MSHA's Help Desk is your single source for assistance. They may be reached either by phone at (877) 778-6055 or via email at desk.help@dol.gov.

How do I change my address with MSHA or request certain documents?
  To request an address change with MSHA or to receive mailings (this does not include our Listserve mailing list), please see this link. If you would like to receive email notification (Listserve mailings) for certain topics, please use this link.

Where can I get citation histories, accident histories other such information for a particular company or mine?
  The Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) Data Retrieval System (DRS) is where the Department of Labor provides this sort of information. You may query by company name or Mine ID for an overview of a particular mine, violation histories, accident and injury information, and sampling data.

How do I contest a citation or order issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for a mandatory health or safety violation?
  When an MSHA inspector issues a citation or order under Section 104 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), a mine operator has 30 days to file a notice of contest with the Secretary of Labor at the appropriate Regional Solicitor's Office or at the Solicitor's Office, Mine Safety and Health Division in Arlington, Virginia. An operator may also challenge the modification of a citation or order, as well as the reasonableness of the length of time for abatement. An operator's failure to file a notice of contest of a citation or order issued under Section 104 of the Mine Act will not preclude the operator from challenging, in a penalty proceeding, the fact of violation or any special findings contained in a citation or order including the assertion in the citation or order that the violation was of a significant and substantial nature or was caused by the operator's unwarrantable failure to comply with the standard.

Where can I find a particular document on your web site or elsewhere on the web?
  Begin by seeing if there is a "Search" feature offered on the web site. We do. Ours is at the top of our home page or by accessing our Search Page. We also offer subject specific searches for certain pages. Another good way to find information is use "Search Engines" such as Lycos, Google, Web Crawler and others. These are offered to help you navigate the web. Take the time to look as you will more than likely find what it is you are looking for, quickly.

How do I get the lost-time injury rate for a particular mine?
  Lost-time injury rates are based on reports made by mine operators to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This information is available on MSHA's web site under "MSHA's Data Retrieval System".

I am a miner and was injured at work. How can I find out if my employer notified the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) about my injury?
  You may contact your local MSHA office (Coal/Metal/Nonmetal) or MSHA's Office of Injury and Employment Information at (303) 231-5453 or through the Office Chief via e-mail. You may also check MSHA's Data Retrieval System for information by mine id. Use the "Accidents option".

May I download documents from the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA)web site, such as the "Fatalgrams" and use them in my newsletter?
  Yes, MSHA encourages miners, managers and safety and health professionals to use any information posted in the web site.

We consider our scale house employees clerical staff. They do not go into the mine. They maintain the computer with updates from customers, orders and haulers and other paperwork. Do they need "new miner" and "annual refresher" training?
  30 CFR Part 46 defines a miner as any person who is engaged in "mining operations," which is: 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. Employees who only work in the scale house are not considered miners under 30 CFR Part 46. They are not required to receive new miner or annual refresher training, however, they should receive appropriate site-specific hazard awareness training (30 CFR Section 46.11) for their job.

I worked as a miner about eight years ago and am thinking about going back to the mines. Am I still considered an "experienced miner"?
  Under 30 CFR Part 48, an individual who receives 40 hours of training and works for 12 months as an underground miner is considered an "experienced miner." Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA rules require that any experienced miner who has been away from mining for more than five years receive 8 hours of "experienced miner" training before returning to the mine. If you do not have the 12 months of mining experience, you will need to receive 40 hours of "new miner" training. Some States have additional training requirements for miners. You may want to contact the appropriate agency in your State regarding specific requirements. Our web site has a listing of state agency contacts.

My company provides mapping and surveying work for mining operations. Do we need training as defined in 30 CFR Part 46 Training?
  Mapping and surveying work is not considered mining, as defined under the 30 CFR Part 46 regulations (refer to 30 CFR Section 46.2). At each operation you visit, however, the mine operator is required to provide you with site-specific "hazard awareness training" before you begin any work. This training will vary depending on the work you will be performing, the length of time you will be at that mine site, and the amount and types of mine hazards you may be exposed to while working at the mine.

We operate a gravel pit. Do we need someone on the property at all times who is trained and certified in first-aid?
  The Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) regulation requires that an individual capable of providing first aid be available on all shifts. The person must be currently trained and able to perform patient assessment and artificial respiration, control bleeding, and treat shock, wounds, burns, and musculoskeletal injuries. (30 CFR Section 56.18010.)

Can first-aid training be included in our training as defined in 30 CFR Part 46 (Part 46 Training)?
  Yes, it may be incorporated into your Part 46 training program. It should be listed in your training plan, along with the name of the competent person who will conduct the training. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) encourages mine operators to revisit their training plans on an annual basis and make changes to meet the needs of your employees. One year, for example, you may want to use six of the eight hours of annual refresher training to provide first aid training for all of your employees. The following year, it might be more appropriate to have one hour recap on first aid training and use the remaining hours for other topics, such as accident prevention, hazard recognition, or health hazards.

How do I become a certified Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) instructor?
  Through MSHA's State Grants program, individuals may receive MSHA instructor certification. You will find a list of the MSHA Grants programs, whom you may then contact directly for certification information.

Does a person need a valid drivers' license to drive equipment on mine property?
  The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) does not have a regulation requiring that an equipment operator have a valid state driver's license to operate mobile equipment on mine property. MSHA does, however, require that the equipment operator be properly trained in the safe operation of the piece of equipment and that the training be documented.

Where can I locate a list of materials, supplies, etc. that have been approved for use in underground mines?
  The Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) Approval and Certification Center in Tridelphia, West Virginia, tests and approves equipment that will be used in underground coal mines and gassy metal and nonmetal mines. Please review a list of approved materials.

How do I get a product approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for use in an underground coal mine or gassy underground metal mine?
  Instructions for submitting a product for MSHA approval are available on MSHA's web site.

I would like to order 4 copies of the 30 CFR. I've ordered parts of the code book; but, I can't find out where to order a book. I could print it off the internet, but would rather order ----- I need price per copy, shipping charges ----- I know this is an odd question; but, where can I get this information?
  The hard-bound copy of the Code of Federal Regulations can be purchased from the Government Printing Office National Archives and Records Administration web site. That site may be reached at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/baskets/cfr-listing.jsp.

Can my mining company make us work overtime? We have been working double-shifts, the miners are tired, and someone is going to get hurt.
  The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) does not have the authority to regulate hours of work. The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing laws concerning overtime pay. There are no federal laws prohibiting overtime work, but employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek must be paid overtime wages. (For more information on wage and hour laws, see http://www.dol.gov). If you believe that certain workplace conditions are creating a safety or health hazard, you should discuss them with your supervisor or employee representative. You may also contact you local MSHA office to discuss your concerns. Contacts with MSHA can be made anonymously using our Hazardous Condition Complaint (Code-a-phone) page.

Where do I get information about black lung benefits?
  The federal black lung benefits program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration (ESA) (not by the Mine Safety and Health Administration(MSHA)). In order to be eligible, an individual must be totally and permanently disabled by black lung. That is a very high standard to meet, and most miners are therefore not eligible for federal black lung benefits.) The web site also lists phone numbers for federal black lung benefits offices.

What is a PIB? PIL? PPL? Where can I find copies?
  PIB: Program Information Bulletin. Information bulletins provide information of a temporary nature; they do not provide policy or procedural instructions. Information bulletins do not have an effective date or an expiration date; a bulletin is intended to be kept as long as each recipient needs it. When it is no longer needed, it may be destroyed.

PIL and PPL: Procedure Instruction Letter and Program Policy Letter. Policy letters state agency policy, meaning an interpretation or clarification of a regulation. Policy letters are temporary supplements to the Program Policy Manual (PPM).

PILs and PPLs are intended for the mining community as well as MSHA enforcement personnel and, therefore, are distributed to both groups.

Copies of PIBs, PILs, PPLs and PPM are located under Compliance Assistance link, and then click on MSHA Compliance Information link. http://msha.msha.gov/regsinf2.htm