What Is an MSHA Part 46 Training Plan?

MSHA Training Plan Image

To help people become better aware of their responsibilities under the MSHA Part 46 safety training requirements for surface mines in the US, we’ve been writing some articles on some of the key ideas and requirements.

Recently, for example, we wrote an explanation of MSHA Part 46 training programs. And this article is an explanation of MSHA Part 46 training plans.

As you’ll see, it makes good sense to talk about MSHA Part 46 training programs and training plans in quick succession, because you create a training plan for Part 46 by pulling together your different training programs and adding some additional details. Once you’ve got the training program together, you’re well-more than half-way to creating your MSHA Part 46 training plan.

We’ll explain the training plan below.  And you might also want to check out our guide to MSHA safety training compliance, including online MSHA training.

What Is a MSHA Part 46 Training Plan?

Here’s how MSHA describes the Part 46 training plan in 46.3 and 46.4:

A Training Plan is “a written plan…that contains effective programs for training new miners and newly hired experienced miners, training miners for new tasks, annual refresher training, and site-specific hazard awareness training.” [46.3(a)] Mine operators regulated by Part 46 must develop an implement a Training Plan.

What Must an MSHA Part 46 Training Plan Include?

We’ve already mentioned that your Part 46 training plan has to include all of your Part 46 training programs. Here’s the full list of what your Part 46 training plan has to include:

  • “The name of the production-operator or independent contractor, mine name(s), and MSHA mine identification number(s) or independent contractor identification number(s)” [46.3(b)(1)]
  • “The name and position of the person designated by you who is responsible for the health and safety training at the mine. This person may be the production-operator or independent contractor” [46.3(b)(2)]
  • “A general description of the teaching methods and the course materials that are to be used in the training program, including the subject areas to be covered and the approximate time or range of time to be spent on each subject area” [46.3(b)(3)]
  • “A list of the persons and/or organizations who will provide the training, and the subject areas in which each person and/or organization is competent to instruct” [46.3(b)(4)]
  • “The evaluation procedures used to determine the effectiveness of training” [46.3(b)(5)]

Do You Have to Submit Your MSHA Part 46 Training Plan to MSHA?

No. At least not as a normal course of action.

MSHA in 46.3(a) says just that “You must develop and implement a written plan…” and they also note that the training plan is “considered approved” if it includes everything we already listed for you above (they’re also listed in 46.3(b)).

But that doesn’t mean you CAN’T submit your Part 46 training plan if you wish. MSHA notes that you CAN “voluntarily submit a plan for Regional Manager approval” [see 46.3(c) to learn more about this, and see the section below about submitting the training plan to the miner’s representative if you’re going to go this route].

However, if your Part 46 doesn’t include the stuff we’ve listed above for you, then you DO NEED to submit the training plan to your MSHA Regional Manager for approval. Here’s how MSHA explains that in Part 46:

A plan that does not include the minimum information specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of this section must be submitted to and approved by the Regional Manager, Educational Field Services Division, or designee, for the region in which the mine is located.

Requirement to Submit MSHA Part 46 Training Plan to Miner’s Representative

Although you don’t typically have to submit your Part 46 training plan to MSHA, you DO have to submit a copy of the training plan to the representative of the miners at your mine, if there is one.

According to 46.3(d), you’ve got to do this “at least 2 weeks before the plan is implemented.”

Plus, if you’re planning to submit your Part 46 training plan to MSHA for approval, you’ve got to make the training plan available to the miner’s representative “at least two weeks before you submit the plan to the Regional Manager for approval” [46.3(d)].

What Is There Is No Miner’s Representative?

If there is no miner’s representative, “you must post a copy of the plan at the mine or provide a copy to each miner at least 2 weeks before you implement the plan or submit it to the Regional Manager for approval.”

Once you’ve made your Part 46 training plan available to miners and/or their representative, know that “within 2 weeks following the receipt or posting of the training plan under paragraph (d) of this section, miners or their representatives may submit written comments on the plan to you, or to the Regional Manager, as appropriate” [46.3(d)].

And finally, one last point. If you DO submit your training plan to MSHA and they approve it, “you must provide the miners’ representative, if any, with a copy of the approved plan within one week after approval. At mines where no miners’ representative has been designated, you must post a copy of the plan at the mine or provide a copy to each miner within one week after approval” [46.3(d)].

MSHA Inspection of Your Part 46 Training Plan

You generally don’t have to submit your Part 46 training plan to MSHA, but that doesn’t mean an MSHA inspector may never ask for it.

In fact, you’re required to keep a copy of your Part 46 training plan onsite and/or have it readily available for inspection by MSHA (as well as by miners and/or their representative).

Here’s how MSHA explains that in 46.3(i):

“You must make available at the mine a copy of the current training plan for inspection by us and for examination by miners and their representatives. If the training plan is not maintained at the mine, you must have the capability to provide the plan within one business day upon request by us, miners, or their representatives.”

Implementing Your MSHA Part 46 Training Plan

Creating your Part 46 training plan is an important first step. But of course, you’ve got to put it all into action and deliver that mining safety training as well. That’s what implementation is about. Implementation of the Part 46 training plan is covered in 46.4.

When you implement the Part 46 training plan and deliver the mining safety training MSHA requires, be sure the training is:

  • Conducted in according with the written training plan
  • Presented by a competent person
  • Presented in a language that the miners who are receiving the training understand.

But What’s a Competent Person for Part 46?

Sharp-eyed readers perhaps noticed the mention of a competent person in our discussion of implementing the MSHA Part 46 training plan immediately above.

What does competent person mean in this context, you ask? Good question.

Here’s how MSHA describes the competent person role for Part 46:

Competent Person: “a person designated by the production-operator or independent contractor who has the ability, training, knowledge, or experience to provide training to miners in his or her area of expertise. The competent person must be able both to effectively communicate the training subject to miners and to evaluate whether the training given to miners is effective.” (46.2, Definitions)

Read this article to learn more about the MSHA Part 46 competent person and read this one to learn about the MSHA Part 46 competent person when online training is completed.

Help With Your MSHA Part 46 Training Plan

So there you have it. The MSHA Part 46 training plan explained.

It’s possible to do all this without any assistance, using instructor-led and on-the-job training, paper training records, and maybe some Excel spreadsheets.

But possible doesn’t mean easy. And juggling all this without some form of assistance in the form of training software and online mining safety training courses intended to help with MSHA Part 46 compliance is a LOT of work.

Why not partner with a company to help with your MSHA Part 46 training compliance needs? We’ve got a learning management system (LMS) that’s specially designed for MSHA Part 46 training compliance. Plus we’ve got a huge collection of online mining safety training courses to help you create and deliver training matching the MSHA Part 46 training plan we just discussed. And on top of that, we offer general health and safety training online courses as well as an incident management system for workplace safety management.

Check the short video below for a brief introduction to our Convergence MSHA LMS.

Conclusion: The MSHA Part 46 Training Plan

We hope this explanation of the MSHA Part 46 training plan helped solidify your understanding of MSHA’s Part 46 regulation and requirements and helped point you in the right direction for pulling together a training plan at your mine.

Let us know if we can help you with your mining safety training and MSHA compliance needs!

Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

Contact us for more information