Miners' Rights and Responsibilities

Miners' Rights and Responsibilities
A Guide to
Miners' Rights and Responsibilities
Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health
Act of 1977

To report a hazardous condition at a mine to MSHA, call: 1-800-746-1553
or use the on-line filing option (For more information, see this page.).

You do not need to identify yourself!

To report an imminent danger hazardous condition call: 1-800-746-1553
(a condition that could cause a serious accident, injury, illness or fatality) 


A guide to Miner's Rights and Responsibilities Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977

The 1977 Mine Act, as amended by the 2006 MINER Act, gives you and your representative many rights because Congress wanted to encourage you to take an active, responsible role in matters of mine safety and health. A good safety and health program depends on the active participation and interest of everyone at the worksite. If you and your fellow miners take advantage of these rights, you can help decrease workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses.

What Is a Mine?
A mine is generally any surface or underground location involved in the extraction, preparation, or processing of coal or other minerals.

Who Has Rights Under the Act?
Miners, representatives of miners, applicants for employment. All persons (including supervisors, contractors, construction or demolition workers, and truck drivers) working at a mine are considered to be "miners" and may exercise the rights given them by the Act.

What Are My Rights?
You have a right to:

  • File or make a complaint of an alleged danger or safety or health violation to a Federal or State agency, a mine operator, an operator's agent or a miner's representative.
  • Participate in proceedings under the Act such as: testifying, assisting, or participating in any proceeding instituted under the Act, or filing a complaint with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
  • A medical evaluation or to be considered for transfer to another job location because of harmful physical agents and toxic substances. (For example: a coal miner has the right to a chest x-ray and physical examination for black lung disease [pneumoconiosis] and potential transfer to a less dusty position if    the miner has a positive diagnosis.)
  • Withdraw yourself from the mine for not having the required health and safety training.
  • Refuse to work in unsafe or unhealthy conditions. NOTE: You must notify the operator of the condition and give them an opportunity to address the situation.
  • Exercise any statutory rights afforded by the Act.

Resources for You...

This program is designed to help you find specific information about the rights and responsibilities of miners.

To order a copy:

National Mine Health and Safety Academy
Distribution Center
1301 Airport Road
Beaver, West Virginia 25813-9426

Phone: 304-256-3257
Fax: 304-256-3368
Email: MSHADistributionCenter@dol.gov

       - Investigation and Processing of Discrimination Complaints

  1. Privacy Statement
  2. Form 2000-123
  3. Form 2000-124
  4. Information On Backpay
  5. Form 2000-58 Claimant Expense Report
  6. FMSHRC Procedural Rules 29 CFR Part 2700 – Subpart E

To report a hazardous condition or an imminent danger – conditions that could cause a serious accident, injury, illness or fatality – call 1-800-746-1553 or report it online.