When a contractor is working at a surface mine, it brings up a lot of questions regarding the MSHA Part 46 training requirements for contractors. For example, who’s responsible for what in terms of providing the MSHA Part 46 safety training? And, of course, there are questions about the type of training the contractor needs to receive, who pays, etc.
If you don’t know all the ins and outs of this issue now, you will by the time you finish this article. So let’s get started with this overview of MSHA Part 46 training for contract employees.
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There are three roles to consider in this discussion. They are listed and defined below:
The production-operator: As defined in 46.2(2)(m), this is “any owner, lessee, or other person who operates, controls, or supervises a mine under this part.“
The independent contractor: As defined in 46.2(2)(e), this is “…any person, partnership, corporation, subsidiary of a corporation, firm, association, or other organization that contracts to perform services at a mine under this part.“
Employees of the independent contractor who work at a mine site: These are the people who work for the independent contractors defined immediately above and who work at a mine site where Part 46 training requirements apply. These employees are considered “miners” as explained in 46.2(g)(1)(i) and (ii)–“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 any construction worker who is exposed to hazards of mining operations.“
That may make you wonder what “mining operations” means. Here’s how that’s defined in 46.2(h): “Mining operations means mine development, drilling, blasting, extraction, milling, crushing, screening, or sizing of minerals at a mine; maintenance and repair of mining equipment; and associated haulage of materials within the mine from these activities.“
The production-operator has two primary responsibilities when it comes to the employees of independent contractors who will be working at their site as miners.
Now let’s look at the independent contractor’s responsibilities for Part 46 training for his or her workers (who are considered “miners” under 46.2).
The independent contractor.
In 46.12(b)(1), it says the “independent contractor…has primary responsibility for complying with 46.3-46.10,” and in 46.10 it says “Training must be conducted during normal working hours. Persons required to receive training must be paid at a rate of pay that corresponds to the rate of pay they would have received had they been performing their normal work tasks.“
That’s our little overview of MSHA Part 46 training for contractors. If you had some questions or confusion before, we hope we’ve addressed them. Of course, feel free to use the comments section below to write any of your own thoughts or other questions–we’d love to hear from you.
If you need help creating and delivering MSHA training to contractors, miners, and other employees, check out the following links:
Here’s a short, two-minute video overview of our LMS for Mining Safety/MSHA Compliance, a tool that can help you with your MSHA Part 46 safety training and compliance.