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U.S. Department of Labor


Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939


ISSUE DATE: March 3, 2009

PROGRAM INFORMATION BULLETIN NO. P09-04

FROM:           KEVIN G. STRICKLIN   KEVIN G. STRICKLIN
                       Administrator for
                       Coal Mine Safety and Health

                      JEFFREY A. DUNCAN   JEFFREY A. DUNCAN
                       Director for
                       Educational Policy and Development

SUBJECT:     AMS Operator Training Guide and Part 48 Task Training Addendum

Scope
This program information bulletin (PIB) applies to underground coal mine operators, independent contractors, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) personnel, and other interested persons.

Purpose
This PIB provides compliance information to assist operators in the modification of the task training component of their Part 48 training plan. Further, this PIB announces the availability of a training guide that can be used to assist in training AMS operators.

Information
The final rule for Flame-Resistant Conveyor Belt, Fire Prevention and Detection, and Use of Air From the Belt Entry was effective on December 31, 2008 and requires mine operators to submit modifications to their training plans and conduct AMS operator task training by March 2, 2009.

A trained AMS operator must be on duty at mines that use an AMS to comply with the following standards: §§ 75.323(d)(1)(ii) - actions for excessive methane, 75.340(a)(1)(ii) and 75.340(a)(2)(ii) - electrical installations, 75.350(b) and 75.350(d) - use of air from the belt entry to ventilate working sections and point-feed regulators, or 75.362(f) - on-shift examinations.

30 C.F.R. § 75.156(a) requires that to be qualified as an AMS operator, a person shall be provided with task training on duties and responsibilities at each mine where an AMS operator is employed in accordance with the mine operator's approved Part 48 training plan. Since no AMS operator was required to receive task training under an MSHA- approved Part 48 training plan before December 31, 2008, they now must be trained under this new provision.

All underground coal mine operators that are required to have AMS systems in their mines must conduct task training for their AMS operators. Part 48 training plans must be modified to include the new task training requirement for AMS operators in § 48.27(a). This modification must be submitted to the appropriate District Manager for approval. To assist in developing a task training plan modification, MSHA has developed a task training plan addendum. Operators who choose to use this task training addendum should modify it as necessary and submit it to the appropriate District Manager for approval.

MSHA has also developed a training guide entitled, Atmospheric Monitoring Systems Operator's Training Guide. This guide is intended to assist operators in conducting AMS task training and annual retraining as required in § 75.351(q)(1). This guide can also be used as an aid to train personnel that monitor carbon monoxide sensors.

Both the task training plan addendum and guide can be downloaded from the MSHA website, www.msha.gov/beltair/beltair.asp#AMS, or ordered from the: Background
This training addresses AMS operator qualification requirements in the final rule on Flame-Resistant Conveyor Belt, Fire Prevention and Detection, and Use of Air from the Belt Entry.

Authority
Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq., and 30 C.F.R. Part 48 and §§ 75.156 and 75.351(q).

Internet Availability
This PIB may be viewed by accessing MSHA's home page at (www.msha.gov), choosing "Compliance Info" and "Program Information Bulletins."

Contact Person(s)
Coal Mine Safety and Health
Michael G. Kalich
E-mail: kalich.michael@dol.gov

Educational Policy and Development
Thomas W. MacLeod
E-mail: macleod.thomas@dol.gov

Distribution
MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders
Mine Operators and Independent Contractors
Mine Safety and Health Administration Personnel
Special Interest Groups