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Compliance Guideline for
MSHA's Part 46 Training Regulations


Training and Retraining of Miners Engaged in Shell Dredging or Employed at Sand,Gravel, Surface Stone, Surface Clay, Colloidal Phosphate, or Surface Limestone Mines

Version 3 - Published May 28, 2001
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§ 46.4 Training Plan Implementation


62. Q. Do informal safety and health meetings have to last a certain length of time before they can be credited toward new miner training, newly-hired experienced miner training, or annual refresher training?

A. No. Part 46 does not impose a minimum duration for training sessions. However, Part 46 training must be documented in accordance with the requirements of § 46.9 for records of training. This section requires a record showing the printed full name of the person trained; the type of training; the duration of training; the date the training was received; and the name of the competent person who provided the training.

   Only the portion of the session actually spent in training can be included when indicating the duration of the training. For example, when 10 minutes of a work crew's normal 15-minute weekly safety meeting is devoted to training, the 10 minutes can be recorded and credited toward required training. You cannot count the time spent before a training session begins when the miners are assembling and socializing.

63. Q. Can miners at similar mining operations receive their mandatory training together?

A. Yes. The requirements of Part 46 would not prohibit miners at similar mining operations from receiving training at the same time, so long as the training complies with all applicable requirements of Part 46.

   Many subjects, such as miners' rights, recognition and avoidance of electrical hazards, and first aid, are common to different operations. Other subjects, such as introduction to the work environment, traffic patterns and controls, task training, escape and emergency evacuation plans, are specific to each mine site and would have to be addressed separately.

64. Q. My mine is very small, and I just don't have the personnel to conduct the training. Are there other organizations that I can go to?

A. Yes. There are many organizations capable of providing training. Forty-four States and the Navajo Nation receive grants from us and have been providing training to small mine operators for many years. These grant programs are a resource for training and can help in developing your plans. A list of the grantees can be found through our homepage at www.msha.gov. Click on the blue tab on the right side of the screen for "Education & Training," and then click on "State Grant Program Information." However, these organizations do not generally provide "site-specific", or "task" training. An operator or contractor must still develop or adopt a plan that addresses the hazards at the mine and fits the needs of their miners.

65. Q. Can training that is given to satisfy OSHA requirements, such as hazard communication training, be credited as part of the annual refresher training under § 46.8?

A. You may substitute health and safety training required by OSHA or other federal or state agencies to meet Part 46 requirements. The training must be relevant to the subjects required under Part 46, and documented accordingly.

66. Q. Section 46.4(a)(3) requires that training be presented in a language understood by the miners who are receiving the training. Does this mean that if you have an employee who speaks and understands little or no English, the training must be presented in a language the employee can understand?

A. Yes. If the employee is not fluent in English, training must be given in a language the employee understands. Our concern is that employees who are not sufficiently fluent in English will not be effectively trained if the training is in English.

67. Q. Does the requirement that training be presented in a language understood by the miners who are receiving the training apply to site-specific hazard awareness training?

A. Yes. In addition, if warning signs at the mine serve as a component of the site-specific hazard awareness training, the signs must be in a language or languages that are understood by the persons who come onto the mine site.

68. Q. If a competent person is providing training to a group, and some individuals are not fluent in English, is it permissible to use a person who is not a competent person as a translator?

A. Yes. The translator would not need to be a "competent person" under the Part 46 definition. However, when using a translator, the operator or contractor should ensure the translator has the ability to translate the information accurately and completely. Further, the translator should be familiar with the subject and terminology in the language being translated, not just in English.

69. Q. If a company uses a computer-based training (CBT) program for their Part 46 training, who is considered the competent person?

A. While we encourage the use of innovative training methods, Part 46 requires that a "competent person" oversee the training. This would not necessarily require that the competent person be in the room at all times, but would require monitoring the student's progress to ensure the training was effective and completed.

70. Q. If a company uses a computer-based training (CBT) program for their Part 46 training, what are the monitoring requirements of the competent person?

A. We consider computer-based or other interactive training technologies to be training "methods," to be used by a competent person effectively and appropriately. This would not necessarily require that the competent person be in the room at all times, however, the competent person must be available to evaluate the trainees progress, and answer questions as they arise.