MSHA New Miner Training Requirements


Surface Mining Image for MSHA Part 46 New Miner Training Blog Post

The MSHA Part 46 regulations, also known as 30 CFR Part 46, mandate safety training for new miners, tasks that are new to a miner, site-specific hazards at a mine, and annual refresher safety training for all miners at surface mines in the United States.

In this article, we’re going to look at the MSHA New Miner training requirements, which is also known in MSHA-speak as the Part 46 New Miner Training Plan.

We’ll put all the information you need right on the surface so you won’t have to go digging for it! Ha! Get that?

If you want to skip the reading and information and jump ahead, you can buy, view, and complete Online MSHA Part 46 New Miner and Annual Refresher Training here.

OK, here we go with our introduction to the part 46 training regulations from our good friends at MSHA.

Don’t forget to download the Free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements.

A Few FAQs about MSHA and MSHA Part 46

Let’s address a few FAQs before we begin.

What Is MSHA?

Good question! MSHA is the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Think of it as the mining equivalent of OSHA.

MSHA is the government agency responsible over safety and health issues at mines. One thing they’re responsible for is making sure miners receive proper safety training, because mining is hazardous.

What Is MSHA Part 46?

Part 46 is a part of the CFR Title 30 Mineral Resources regulations.

Part 46 lists mandatory training and training documentation requirements at certain surface mine sites.

In particular, Part 46 applies to “miners engaged in shell dredging, or employed at sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, colloidal phosphate, or surface limestone mines.” (46.1)

Are There Different Training Requirements for Different Types of Mining and Miners?

Yep. Check out Part 48, which “sets forth the mandatory requirements for submitting and obtaining approval of programs for training and retraining miners working in underground mines.”

Also, continue reading below for the different types of training requirements set up in Part 46.

The Part 46 New Miner Training Program (46.5):

As we mentioned earlier, MSHA Part 46 requires mine operators to set up specific “training plans” for new miners, new tasks, annual refresher training, and more.

One of those Part 46 training requirements covers training for new miners.

What Does “Miner” Mean In This Context?

According to 30 CFR Part 46.2(g), a “miner” is:

(i) Any person, including any operator or supervisor, who works at a mine and who is engaged in mining operations. This definition includes independent contractors and employees of independent contractors who are engaged in mining operations; and

(ii) Any construction worker who is exposed to hazards of mining operations.

Part 46 also gives these notes about who is NOT a miner:

(2) The definition of “miner” does not include scientific workers; delivery workers; customers (including commercial over-the-road truck drivers); vendors; or visitors. This definition also does not include maintenance or service workers who do not work at a mine site for frequent or extended periods.

Are There Different Types of “New Miners?”

As you may have guessed, since we raised the question, the answer is: yes.

There are two types of new miners:

  • Newly hired miners
  • Newly hired experienced miners.

Here’s MSHA’s definition of a newly hired miner:

New miner means a person who is beginning employment as a miner with a production-operator or independent contractor and who is not an experienced miner.

Here’s MSHA’s definition of a newly hired experienced miner:

Newly hired experienced miner means an experienced miner who is beginning employment with a production-operator or independent contractor. Experienced miners who move from one mine to another, such as drillers and blasters, but who remain employed by the same production-operator or independent contractor are not considered newly hired experienced miners.

What Kind of New Miner Is This Article About?

We’re going to look at the first type–newly hired miners with no previous experience and/of safety training. Here’s the MSHA definition again if that helps:

New miner means a person who is beginning employment as a miner with a production-operator or independent contractor and who is not an experienced miner.

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Training Requirements

Part 46 includes specific requirements for new miner training that cover:

  • Training time
  • Training topics

Let’s look at each.

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Training Requirements–Training Time

MSHA requires that mine operators provide every newly hired miner 24 hours of new miner training before that miner can work without being observed by an experienced miner.

Of those 24 hours, the new miner must complete the first four before he or she can begin work at all.

In addition, MSHA has made some exceptions for miners who have worked at a mine in the past, received new miner training at that previous mine, but never reached “experienced miner” status. For more information on these exceptions, see 46.5(f) and 46.5(g).

MSHA Part 46 New Miner Training Requirements–Training Topics

In addition to the training deadline requirements and exceptions we just listed, the MSHA Part 46 training requirements also include a list of topics that mine operators must train new miners on.

We’ve spelled those specific new miner training requirements out for you below in the table.

When New Miner Training Must Occur Training Topics Required by New Miner Training Program
Before new miner begins work 1. An introduction to the work environment. Includes 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.
Before new miner begins work 2. Instruction on the recognition and avoidance of electrical hazards and other hazards present at the mine. Instruction can include things such as traffic patterns and control, mobile equipment (e.g., haul trucks and front-end loaders), and loose or unstable ground conditions.
Before new miner begins work 3. A review of the emergency medical procedures, escape and emergency evacuation plans, in effect at the mine, and instruction on the fire-warning signals and firefighting procedures.
Before new miner begins work 4. Instruction on the health and safety aspects of the tasks to be assigned. Includes the safe work procedures of such tasks, the mandatory health and safety standards pertinent to such tasks, information about the physical and health hazards of chemicals in the miner’s work area, the protective measures a miner can take against these hazards, and the contents of the mine’s HazCom program.
Before new miner begins work 5. Instruction on the statutory rights of miners and their representatives under the Act. Instruction should be based on the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977.
Before new miner begins work 6. A review and description of the line of authority of supervisors and miners’ representatives and the responsibilities of such supervisors and miners’ representatives.
Before new miner begins work 7. An introduction to your rules and procedures for reporting hazards.
Before new miner begins work 8. Site-specific hazards. Note: Part 46 doesn’t specifically call out training on “site-specific hazards” in the same way that it does the other topics listed above (or below), but instead notes that the training topics listed above “must also address site-specific hazards.” As a result, we’ve chosen to call them out specifically so it’s less likely you’ll miss this.
No later than 60 calendar days after a new miner begins work at the mine 9. Instruction and demonstration on the use, care, and maintenance of self-rescue and respiratory devices, if used at the mine.
No later than 60 calendar days after a new miner begins work at the mine 10. A review of first aid methods.
No later than 90 calendar days after a new miner begins work at the mine 11. The balance, if any, of the 24 hours of training on any other subjects that promote occupational health and safety for miners at the mine.

Online Training for the Part 46 New Miner Training Program

Did you know MSHA allows you to use online training for Part 46 New Miner Training Requirements? It’s true.

We’ve got some Online MSHA Part 46 training materials and tools for you, including:

You may find these other articles helpful as well:

Let us know if you have any questions. We’ve provided a course sample immediately below–it’s a sample of our MSHA Part 46 Environmental Hazards at Mine safety training video.

Want to Know More?

Reach out and a Vector Solutions representative will respond back to help answer any questions you might have.