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The Mine Act gives miners rights and responsibilities to encourage active, responsible participation in mine safety and health. A good health and safety training program requires the active participation and interest of everyone at the worksite. When you know your rights and responsibilities, you are better equipped to help decrease workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
This MSHA rights & responsibilities course outlines the best practices for understanding and adhering to miners' responsibilities. It also identifies specific miners' rights and the procedures to follow if those rights are violated.
What are the governing regulations? Miners' rights and responsibilities are identified under the Mine Act, the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). According to CFR Part 46.2, a miner is anyone, including an operator or supervisor, who works at a mine and is engaged in mining operations.
To be MSHA compliant your company must have a training plan that is approved by MSHA and administered by a competent person. Your company can use this or any of our courses as part of that plan.
Who must take this training? This miners' rights and responsibilities training course is designed for operators, supervisors, safety personnel, and all other individuals who work at mines. Anyone who is regularly exposed to mine hazards is subject to certain rights and responsibilities under the Mine Act.
Case Study: On March 20, 2012, a 54-year-old mine owner with about 25 years of experience was killed at an underground gemstone mine. He was cleaning fine ore with a shovel and loading it in the bucket of a front-end loader when rock fell from the top left rib from a height of 20 feet. The victim was working alone.
Key Takeaway: You have a right to refuse to work alone in dangerous situations. Keep within earshot of your fellow miners for their safety and yours.
You must provide each miner with no less than 8 hours of annual refresher training:
No later than 12 months after the miner begins work at the mine, or no later than March 30, 2001, whichever is later; and
Thereafter, no later than 12 months after the previous annual refresher training was completed.
The refresher training must include instruction on changes at the mine that could adversely affect the miner's health or safety.
Refresher training must also address other health and safety subjects that are relevant to mining operations at the mine. Recommended subjects include, but are not limited to: applicable health and safety requirements, including mandatory health and safety standards; 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; transportation controls and communication systems; escape and emergency evacuation plans, firewarning and firefighting; ground conditions and control; traffic patterns and control; working in areas of highwalls; water hazards, pits, and spoil banks; illumination and night work; first aid; electrical hazards; prevention of accidents; health; explosives; and respiratory devices. Training is also recommended on the hazards associated with the equipment that has accounted for the most fatalities and serious injuries at the mines covered by this rule, including: mobile equipment (haulage and service trucks, front-end loaders and tractors); conveyor systems; cranes; crushers; excavators; and dredges. Other recommended subjects include: maintenance and repair (use of hand tools and welding equipment); material handling; fall prevention and protection; and working around moving objects (machine guarding).
Annual refresher training of miners; minimum courses of instruction; hours of instruction.
Each miner shall receive a minimum of 8 hours of annual refresher training as prescribed in this section.
The annual refresher training program for all miners shall include the following courses of instruction:
Mandatory health and safety standards. The course shall include mandatory health and safety standard requirements which are related to the miner's tasks.
Transportation controls and communication systems. The course shall include instruction on the procedures for riding on and in mine conveyances; the controls in effect for the transportation of miners and materials; and the use of the mine communication systems, warning signals, and directional signs.
Barricading. The course shall include a review of the methods of barricading and locations of barricading materials, where applicable.
Roof or ground control, ventilation, emergency evacuation and firefighting plans. The course shall include a review of roof or ground control plans in effect at the mine and the procedures for maintaining and controlling ventilation. In addition, for underground coal mines, except for miners who receive this training under 30 CFR 75.1504, the course shall include a review of the emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction in effect at the mine.
First aid. The course shall include a review of first aid methods acceptable to MSHA.
Electrical hazards. The course shall include recognition and avoidance of electrical hazards.
Prevention of accidents. The course shall include a review of accidents and causes of accidents, and instruction in accident prevention in the work environment.
Self-rescue and respiratory devices. The course shall include instruction and demonstration in the use, care, and maintenance of self-rescue and respiratory devices used at the mine. In addition, except for miners who receive this training under 30 CFR 75.1504, the training for self-contained self-rescue (SCSR) devices shall include:
Hands-on training in the complete donning of all types of self- contained self-rescue devices used at the mine, which includes assuming a donning position, opening the device, activating the device, inserting the mouthpiece, and putting on the nose clip; and
Hands-on training in transferring between all applicable self- rescue devices.
Explosives. The course shall include a review and instruction on the hazards related to explosives. The only exception to this course component is when there are no explosives used or stored on the mine property.
Mine gases. The course shall include instruction in the detection and avoidance of hazards associated with mine gases.
Health. The course shall include instruction on the purpose of taking dust, noise, and other health measurements and any health control plan in effect at the mine shall be explained. The health provisions of the Act and warning labels shall also be explained.
Such other courses as may be required by the District Manager based on circumstances and conditions at the mine.
Refresher training may include other health and safety subjects that are relevant to mining operations at the mine. Recommended subjects include, but are not limited to, 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.
Where annual refresher training is conducted periodically, such sessions shall not be less than 30 minutes of actual instruction time and the miners shall be notified that the session is part of annual refresher training.