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U.S. Department of Labor


Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939
EFFECTIVE DATE:   March 23, 2011 EXPIRATION DATE: 03/31/2013
(Reissue of P09-V-07)              

PROGRAM POLICY LETTER NO. P11-V-06

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

                     LINDA F. ZEILER   LINDA F. ZEILLER
                    Acting Director of Technical Support

SUBJECT:     Check In - Check Out System

Scope
This Program Policy Letter (PPL) is intended for underground coal mine operators, miners and miners' representatives, independent contractors, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement personnel, and other parties who work or travel in underground coal mines.

Purpose
The purpose of this PPL is to review, clarify and provide guidance under Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations (30 C.F.R.) § 75.1715, "Identification check system".

Policy
After June 15, 2009, the use of a dispatcher in lieu of electronic tracking was discontinued, and all Emergency Response Plans (ERP) were required to provide an electronic tracking system permitting surface personnel to determine the location of any persons underground. As a result, in order to also comply with 30 C.F.R. § 75.1715, the identification number on the miner's belt and the electronic tracking system number must be identical. This number will allow for accurate, cross-referenced information, which can quickly and easily identify all miners working underground.

Other persons, such as visitors, vendors, short-term maintenance or service workers, who travel underground and are not employees of the mine operator, are also required to comply with the ERP's electronic tracking system procedures.

Some mines use an electronic scanning device to determine when miners clock in at work and when they clock out. These systems are generally used to determine payroll hours and do not correspond directly with a miner's underground work assignment. For this reason, these devices cannot be used to comply with 30 C.F.R. § 75.1715.

Background
Each operator of an underground coal mine is required to establish a check-in and check-out system that will provide a positive identification for each person who travels underground. For decades, this system typically included a tag (brass or other rust-resistant metal) that was attached to a miner's belt and a corresponding identical tag on a check-in/check-out board. This was the simplest and most reliable method of determining who was underground. Following the passage of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), electronic tracking has progressed to provide positive identification of miners underground.

Currently, there are communication and tracking systems which are approved for underground mines. A list can be reviewed by accessing the MSHA web site at: http://www.msha.gov/techsupp/PEDLocating/CommoandTrackingMINERActCompliant.pdf

Authority
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.; 30 C.F.R. § 75.1715.

Internet Availability
This PPL may be viewed on the Internet by accessing MSHA home page (http://www.msha.gov) and then choosing Statutory and Regulatory Information and Compliance Assistance Information.

Issuing Office and Contact Persons
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Safety Division
Stephen J. Gigliotti, 202-693-9479
E-mail: gigliotti.stephen@dol.gov

Coal Mine Safety and Health, Safety Division
Charles E. Carpenter, 202-693-9532
E-mail: carpenter.charles@dol.gov

Technical Support, Approval and Certification Center
David C. Chirdon, (304) 547-2026
E-mail: chirdon.david@dol.gov

Distribution
MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders
Miners' Representatives
Coal Mine Operators
Special Interest Groups
Repair Shops