February 29, 2024 6 min read

MSHA Certification: Everything You Need to Know




Compliance and CertificationOnline Training

In the mining industry, safety is paramount. The Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) plays a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of workers in the industry. If you’re involved in mining operations, you’ve likely heard of MSHA certification, a key credential that attests to an individual’s knowledge and adherence to mining safety standards. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of getting certified, shedding light on its significance and the training required. Whether you’re an experienced miner or just starting in the mining sector, understanding MSHA training requirements is essential for safety and compliance in the industry.

What is the MSHA Certification?

MSHA is the Mine Safety and Health Administration and is the OSHA equivalent for the mining industry. MSHA is an agency whose mission is to promote safe work environments to prevent death, injury, and illness.

To carry out this mission, MSHA enforces numerous safety regulations on work sites and requires miners to complete regular training to remain MSHA certified. MSHA-mandated training includes a range of competencies and is divided into two main categories: MSHA Part 46 and Part 48 (which we’ll review in detail shortly).

MSHA certification is therefore a vital industry credential that verifies individuals possess the knowledge and skills they need to remain safe.

What is MSHA Part 46 and 48?

MSHA’s regulatory framework is divided into two essential components: Part 46 and Part 48. Understanding the distinctions between MSHA Part 46 and Part 48 is critical for mining companies to ensure compliance with the appropriate regulations and to provide targeted, effective training for their workforce.

MSHA Part 46

MSHA Part 46 applies to surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. This includes operations like sand and gravel pits, shell dredging, as well as certain types of quarries. New miners in this segment must complete 24 hours of New Miner Training and experienced miners must complete 8 hours of annual refresher training.

The training required under part 46 includes:

  • Hazard recognition
  • Health and safety regulations
  • Emergency procedures
  • Mine-specific procedures
  • Proper use of equipment and machinery

The MSHA 5000-23 certificate requirements also include in-person training, task-specific instruction, and a tour of the mine. Most of MSHA Part 46 can be covered with online training, but there are some in-person elements to receive this certification.

MSHA Part 48:

Conversely, MSHA Part 48 applies to underground mines, surface coal mines, and some surface metal and non-metal mines.

The regulations under Part 48 are more extensive, requiring a detailed training plan tailored to the specific hazards associated with each mining operation. This plan must cover a broad spectrum of safety measures, emergency response protocols, and specialized training for unique job roles within the mining process.

Unlike Part 46, MSHA Part 48 must be administered live by a certified MSHA training. This means that this MSHA certification cannot be completed online.

MSHA Certification Requirements

MSHA certification requirements vary based on the experience of the miner. New miners must complete at least 24 hours of training. And experienced miners must complete 8 hours of refresher training every year.

If you are interested in providing online MSHA training to streamline the process of getting employees MSHA Part 46 certified, Vector Solutions also provides training on the following key topics:

  • General mining safety
  • Fall protection
  • Environmental, health, and safety
  • Confined spaces
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Equipment safety
  • First aid
  • Forklift training
  • Welding safety
  • Hazardous materials
  • Electrical safety
  • Ergonomics
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • And much more.

To learn more about the required training employees need for MSHA part 46, download a copy of our MSHA course catalog below.

MSHA Training for Safety & Compliance

Deliver comprehensive MSHA Part 46 training directly to your mine operators and contractors with interactive and 3D-animated training courses.

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MSHA Compliance Training Library

Why is Mining Certification Training Important?

So, why is it so important for mining professionals to receive such rigorous and frequent training? First and foremost, it’s because this industry poses numerous health and safety risks for miners.

From breathing in dust and fumes that build up in confined spaces to hearing damage, heat stress, and environmental risks (cave-ins and ground falls), there are many safety concerns within a mining operation. Great training can help employees spot these risks and navigate them safely.

MSHA Certification Frequently Asked Questions

MSHA certification training isn’t just a box to check, it’s essential to a safe and successful mining operation. Getting the nuances of your training program right is critical.

Can You Get MSHA Certified Online?

Most of your MSHA Part 46 training can be completed online. MSHA does offer in-person training that can be taken at their National Mine Health and Safety Academy or scheduled at your worksite.

How Long is MSHA Training?

MSHA requires at least 24 hours of instruction for new miners and eight hours for experienced miners annually. The total amount of training employees must take can then vary based on your company’s specific requirements.

How Often Do You Need MSHA Training?

Refresher training is required every year for miners regardless of how long they have worked in the industry.

As an employer, you may choose to require more than the MSHA-mandated eight hours. You likely will also want to train employees on other key health and safety topics. And if retention is an issue for your organization, investing in career development training can also be key.

Why Choose Vector Solutions for MSHA Certification Training

Our MSHA approved eLearning courses can be combined with our award-winning Learning Management System (LMS) for a robust solution to manage training, safety, and compliance.

  • Create and manage training plans for all mine sites
  • Auto-generate MSHA-compliant records
  • Automate assigning annual refresher training
  • Manage MSHA, safety, HR, and other required training through one online system

“Trainees really like the way the videos are delivered in sections based on the MSHA regulation with learning objectives up front. It’s an excellent presentation and the printable tests work great for classroom training. I’m very happy with this product.”

— State Bureau Mine Safety Customer

Request a demo to learn more about our online mining training and see our LMS in action.

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