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Miners' Rights and Responsibilities

An employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your rights under the Mine Act’s whistleblower protection laws. Retaliation includes such actions as firing, denying overtime or promotion, or reducing pay or hours.


  • Effective health and safety training during normal working hours at the regular rate of pay. 
  • File or make a complaint of a safety or health violation to a federal or state agency, a mine operator, an operator’s agent or a miners’ representative. 
  • Have an inspection of the mine where there is belief that an imminent danger, or a violation of the Act or of a safety or health standard exists. 
  • Withdraw from the mine for not having the required health and safety training. 
  • Be paid during certain periods of time when a withdrawal order has closed a mine or part of a mine. 
  • Take part in proceedings under the Mine Act including testifying, assisting, or filing a complaint with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.  
  • Refuse to work in conditions you believe are unsafe, unhealthy, or illegal (after notifying the operator of the condition and giving them an opportunity to address the situation). 
  • A medical evaluation or consideration for transfer to another job location because of harmful physical agents and toxic substances. 
  • Exercise any rights afforded by the Mine Act. 
  • Select a representative for safety and health purposes. 


        •    Comply with all federal and state laws, regulations, and your mine’s safety and health policies.     
        •    Notify the operator when refusing 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.     
        •    Give advance notice of an inspection conducted under the Act.     
        •    Knowingly make a false statement to MSHA.     
        •    Knowingly make a false representation (orally or in writing) on an application, record, report, plan, training certificate, or other document required to be kept or filed with MSHA.     
        •    Smoke in an underground coal, gassy metal/nonmetal mine, or other surface or underground location where smoking is prohibited.

You do not need to identify yourself when reporting a hazardous condition!      

Report violations, hazardous conditions, or imminent danger to MSHA. Call or write any MSHA inspector or office, call our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-746-1553 or report it online at online through MSHA’s Hazardous Condition Complaint system.      

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

Resources for You...

       - 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