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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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§ 46.5 New Miner Training


71. Q. What training is required for a person who has only received the initial 4 hours of new miner training, does not have the required 12 months of mining or equivalent experience and goes to work at another mine?

A. To be considered an experienced miner under Part 46, a person must have completed 24 hours of new miner training and have a total of 12 months of mining or equivalent experience. A person who only received the initial 4 hours of training as defined in section 46.5(b), must receive new miner training at subsequent mines.

As an example, a person receiving the initial 4 hours of training at a mine, and who works for 3 weeks, is not considered an experienced miner. Since this person only has 3 weeks of mining or equivalent experience and 4 hours of training, this person must receive the initial 4 hours of training at the next mine where he or she is employed.

As a reminder, you may use relevant training under Part 48 standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or other federal or state agencies to meet the training requirements of Part 46.

72. Q. What courses are mandatory in new miner training?

A. There are 9 mandatory subjects. Before a new miner begins work, he or she must receive a minimum of 4 hours of training in the following 7 subjects, which must also address site-specific hazards�
  1. An introduction to the work environment, including a visit and tour of the mine, or portions of the mine that are representative of the entire mine (walk around training). The method of mining or operation utilized must be explained and observed;

  2. Instruction on the recognition and avoidance of electrical hazards and other hazards present at the mine, such as traffic patterns and control, mobile equipment (e.g., haul trucks and front-end loaders), and loose or unstable ground conditions;

  3. A review of the emergency medical procedures, escape and emergency evacuation plans, in effect at the mine, and instruction on the firewarning signals and firefighting procedures;

  4. Instruction on the health and safety aspects of the tasks to be assigned, including the safe work procedures of such tasks, and the mandatory health and safety standards pertinent to such tasks;

  5. Instruction on the statutory rights of miners and their representatives under the Act;

  6. A review and description of the line of authority of supervisors and miners' representatives and the responsibilities of such supervisors and miners' representatives; and

  7. An introduction to your rules and procedures for reporting hazards.
A new miner must receive instruction in the following subjects, no later than 60 days after beginning work�
  1. Instruction and demonstration on the use, care, and maintenance of self-rescue and respiratory devices, if used at the mine; and

  2. A review of first aid methods.
73. Q. Section 46.5 requires new miners to receive training in specific subjects within 60 days of beginning work, and also requires that new miners receive all 24 hours of the required training within 90 days. Are these deadlines measured in calendar days or working days?

A. Both the 60-day and 90-day periods prescribed by Part 46 are calendar days.

74. Q. How much of new miner training must be in a classroom environment?

A. Part 46 does not specifically require that any portion of new miner training be presented in a classroom environment. Section 46.4(d) provides that training methods may consist of classroom instruction, instruction at the mine, interactive computer-based instruction or other innovative training methods, alternative training technologies, or any combination of training methods. The most effective training will probably include a variety of methods.

75. Q. How much of the 24 hours of new miner training can be devoted to training on the health and safety aspects of new tasks?

A. Part 46 leaves discretion to the production-operator and independent contractor to determine the appropriate amount of time to be spent on this aspect of training. Although Part 46 does not specify the amount of time that must be devoted to particular subjects, all required subjects must be adequately covered. In some cases, a substantial amount of time may be devoted to training a new miner in the health and safety aspects of new tasks, if he or she has little or no previous experience. In other cases, the time spent on health or safety aspects of new tasks may be less.

76. Q. Miners who have not completed the 24 hours of new miner training must work where an experienced miner can observe that the new miner is performing his or her work in a safe and healthful manner. Does this mean one-on-one?

A. No. However, the experienced miner needs to be in a position to be able to appropriately observe the new miner's job performance. In some cases, the experienced miner may also be the "competent person" designated to conduct the training.

77. Q. Section 46.5(e) requires that new miners be under the "close observation" of a competent person when practicing as part of the health and safety aspects of an assigned task. What does "close observation" mean?

A. "Close observation" means that the competent person must have the ability to observe a new miner's work practices during task training ensuring the miner is not jeopardizing his or her own health and safety or the health and safety of others. We do not mean that the competent person must completely abandon his or her normal duties, as long as the competent person can adequately monitor the work practice. However, in some situations, the competent person may have to cease normal work duties to ensure that this performance-based standard is met.

78. Q. Is a new miner, who has not completed 24-hours of training, required to work under the close observation of a competent person after receiving training on a specific task?

A. No. If the training is completed for the specific task, the miner no longer needs to be under the close observation of a competent person. However, since the miner has not completed the 24 hours of "New Miner Training," the miner is required to work where an experienced miner can observe his or her work practices until the 24 hours of training is completed.

79. Q. We have pieces of mobile equipment that only has a place for the equipment operator, and no space for a passenger. How can a competent person "closely observe" a miner who is being trained in the health and safety aspects of operating that piece of equipment?

A. When available, the passenger seat is the best location for a competent person providing training to a miner in safe operation of the equipment. However, when a passenger seat is not available, the competent person should be positioned in a safe location in close proximity to the equipment being operated. The competent person should closely observe and monitor the miner's actions from that location.

80. Q. If new miners receive hands-on training in the jobs they will be performing, can the time spent on this training be counted toward the 24 hours of training required for new miners under § 46.5?

A. Yes. Part 46 allows practice under the "close observation of a competent person" to be used to fulfill the requirements for training on the health and safety aspects of assigned tasks required for new miners under § 46.5(b)(4). Hazard recognition training specific to the assigned task must be given before the miner performs the task. The time spent in training may be credited toward the 24 hours of required new miner training.

81. Q. Am I required to use an approved/certified first aid instructor to teach a review of first aid methods under § 46.5(b)?

A. No. The review of first aid methods for new miners under Part 46 does not require comprehensive first aid training, however, the training must be conducted by a competent person.

82. Q. What constitutes a "review of first aid methods?" What must this review include to comply with the requirement?

A. Consistent with the performance-oriented approach taken in the rule, Part 46 does not specify what areas must be covered as part of this review. However, it would be appropriate to address basic first aid techniques as part of the review. Compliance with this requirement does not require you to hire an approved first aid instructor or obtain first aid teaching equipment. This review is not a substitute for the first aid requirements in 56.18010 "first-aid."

83. Q. I am an independent contractor with employees that are required to have 24 hours of new miner training under Part 46. Is it acceptable for me to provide the 24 hours of training at my own facility, or must I provide some of the training on a mine property where my employees will be working?

A. Part 46 does not require an independent contractor to provide its employees with any of the 24 hours of new miner training on mine property. However, when an employee of an independent contractor goes to a mine site, he or she must receive appropriate site-specific hazard awareness training applicable to the miner's exposure to mine hazards.

This site-specific hazard awareness training could include site-specific health and safety risks, such as geologic or environmental conditions, recognition and avoidance of hazards such as electrical and powered-haulage hazards, traffic patterns and control, and restricted areas; and warning and evacuation signals, evacuation and emergency procedures, or other special safety procedures.