This guide is developed to provide information for miners’ representatives to better prepare them to work with miners, mine operators and federal inspectors in a collaborative effort to improve the safety and health in the nation’s mines.
Section 2 of the Mine Act (Act) says that mine operators “…with the assistance of the miners have the primary responsibility to prevent the existence…” of health and safety hazards at mines.
All miners, of course cannot assist the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in every one of their inspections or investigations. However, the Act does provide miners the right to designate a representative or representative to act in their behalf in certain aspects of enforcement activities.
It is MSHA’s hope that this guide will be useful to everyone involved in mining in realizing the vital role of a miners’ representative.
A good safety and health program depends on the active participation and interest of everyone at the mine site. If you and your fellow miners know your rights and responsibilities, workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses can be prevented.
What is a Miners’ Representative?
A miners’ representative is any person, group or organization designated by two or more miners to represent their interest during health and safety enforcement processes at their mine.
Roles and Responsibilities as a Miners’ Representative
As a miners’ representative, you play an important role in helping to ensure healthy and safe working conditions and practices at your mine. Your knowledge of the work site can provide MSHA’s inspectors with a great deal of useful information.
Also, by observing what happens during an inspection, you can better understand how MSHA enforces health and safety regulations. The roles of the miner’s representative also come with responsibilities.
These responsibilities may include:
Assisting mine operators to comply with mandatory health and safety standards and provisions of the Mine Act. Reporting accidents, health and safety hazards, and unsafe conditions. Complying with all Federal and State laws and regulations and company safety and health policies. Providing truthful statements and representations (orally or in writing) during any inspection or investigation, or on any applications, records, reports, plans, training certificates or other documents required to be kept or filed by the Act. Refraining from giving advance notice of an inspection conducted by MSHA.
Resources for You…
Online Training GuideWeb sites
Online Guide to Miners’ RepresentativeThis program is designed to help you find specific information about Miners’ Representatives responsibilities.Documents and Forms Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission: www.fmshrc.gov Department of Labor: www.dol.gov MSHA: www.msha.gov MSHA's eGov: Hazard Complaint MSHA eLaws: Notification of Miners' Representatives Department of Labor eLaws: Black Lung Benefits MSHA: Black Lung Resources Miners' Rights Single Source Page Black Lung Contact InformationMore Links Guide to Miners’ Representative A Guide to Miners' Rights Discrimination Complaint Packet Accident/Illness Investigations Procedures Special Investigations Procedures Interpretation and Guidelines On Enforcement of The 1977 Act How to Make a FOIA Request FOIA.gov - Frequently Asked Questions The Freedom of Information Act