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48.5/48.25 Training of New Miners; Minimum Courses of Instruction; Hours of Instruction

A. Underground Mines
An experienced surface miner who begins work in an underground mine is, for training purposes, a new miner and must receive new miner training under Section 48.5. The MSHA district manager may credit applicable surface training (Subpart B) toward the underground training (Subpart A) requirement.

B. Surface Mines and Surface Areas of Underground Mines
An experienced underground miner who begins work in a surface mine is, for training purposes, a new miner and must receive new miner training under Section 48.25. The MSHA district manager may credit applicable underground training (Subpart A) toward the surface training (Subpart B) requirements.

Job Site Training
Health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Job site training must be completed under close and continuous supervision of an approved instructor, with training, not production, as the primary goal. The training is acceptable if the following conditions are met:

  1. Instructors must follow an outline in which each step of the job is broken down into instructional units. The students must demonstrate safe performance of each job step. Several units may be combined in the same instructional period.

  2. All health and safety standards must be observed.

48.6/48.26 Experienced Miner Training
Health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Guidelines for job site training are set out under Sections 48.5/48.25 above.

When an experienced miner returns to the same mine following an absence of 12 months or less, the miner must be informed about major changes affecting safety or health that have occurred at the mine during the absence before the miner starts work. Also, the miner must complete annual refresher training as required in Section 48.8/48.28 before starting work, if the miner missed that training during the absence.

With one exception, there are no time requirements for experienced miner training. However, for miners returning to mining after an absence of 5 years or more, the returning "experienced miner" must receive at least 8 hours of experienced miner training.

48.7/48.27 Training of Miners Assigned to a Task in Which They Have Had No Previous Experience; Minimum Courses of Instruction
An appropriately completed Job Safety Analysis may be used as a training guide when conducting task training as long as it complies with the task training requirements of Part 48.

48.8/48.28 Annual Refresher Training of Miners; Minimum Courses of Instruction; Hours of Instruction
Operators may provide annual refresher training at any time during the last calendar month of the miner's annual refresher training cycle. To illustrate this policy, miners who began work in July 2001 must complete their annual refresher training any time in July 2002. Accordingly, training records and schedules may be maintained on a monthly basis, rather than tracking each miner's individual training date. Also, operators should be encouraged to schedule annual refresher training at the beginning of the month so that if for some reason a miner misses the regularly scheduled training, there will still be a reasonable opportunity for the training to be made up before the end of the month.

Annual refresher training is required to cover such mine-specific matters as the review of roof or ground control plans and health control plans in effect at the mine.

Refresher health and safety training may be conducted at the job site and may involve performance of actual job tasks. Guidelines for job site training are set out under Sections 48.5/48.25.

Refresher Training Following an Absence
The following training is required for experienced miners as defined in Sections 48.2(b)/48.22(b) who return to work following an absence:

In either case, if the miner is assigned a new work task, the operator must provide new task training prior to having the miner perform that task.

The above does not apply to experienced miners assigned to work underground or on the surface for the first time. These miners are "new miners" under the training regulations and must receive new miner training. Credit can be given for applicable underground or surface training.

Extension of Time to Complete Annual Refresher Training
The unexpected return of miners after absences may create a strain between the completion of quality refresher training and prompt return of the miners to productive employment.

In order to accommodate unforeseeable events, district managers may consider requests for limited extensions of time to complete annual refresher training. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and be granted only if:

Subject to additional conditions that the district manager may require, a request for a limited extension of time to complete annual refresher training may be granted when these factors are met. In no case, however, should extensions be granted to correct poor scheduling practices or failure to anticipate foreseeable training needs, nor should provisions for an extension of time appear in an operator's approved training plan or otherwise be routinely granted.

When extensions of time to complete annual refresher training are granted, such extensions should be confirmed in writing to the operator, stating the conditions of the extension and the date that refresher training will be completed. The completion date of this refresher training cycle initiates a new anniversary date.

Annual Refresher Guidelines for Training Plans
An effective refresher training program must be adapted to changes in mining conditions, accident history, and other training concerns. Time spent for each course may vary to meet specific needs. The following guidelines should be used to evaluate provisions for annual refresher training:

Training plans may be revised to reflect training needs. Requests for revisions should be submitted in accordance with Sections 48.3(j)(1)/48.23(j)(1).

48.9/48.29 Records of Training

Approved Forms
All Part 48 training must be properly recorded by the operator on an MSHA Form 5000-23 (training certificate), or on an MSHA approved alternate form. Alternate forms must include at least as much information as a Form 5000-23, and should be labeled MSHA Approved Alternate Form 5000-23 (current month and year). Forms proposed by the operator must be sent for approval to the Director of Educational Policy and Development, MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939.

Record-Keeping Requirements
Operators are required under Sections 48.9/48.29 to give a copy of the training certificate, MSHA Form 5000-23, or an approved alternate, to the miner upon completion of each MSHA approved training program. A "training program" is any miner training (i.e., new miner, newly employed experienced miner, task, annual refresher training or hazard training) completed during a 12- month training cycle.

In order to simplify record-keeping, all MSHA approved training programs completed within a miner's 12-month training cycle may be recorded on one Form 5000-23, provided the following procedures are used:

  1. Each time a miner completes an MSHA approved training program, the operator must initial and date the form to certify that the miner has received the specified training. Initialing and dating can be done in the space on the form adjacent to the type of training. Also, the miner should be given an opportunity to sign or initial the form.

  2. When a MSHA approved program is completed and recorded by the operator, a copy of the certificate must be given to the miner upon request.

  3. At the end of the 12-month training cycle, or when the miner signs item 8 of the form, a copy of the completed form listing all completed training programs and signed by the operator or the operator's representative must be given to the miner.

The training certificate, MSHA Form 5000-23, has been revised so that all training completed by a miner during the 12-month cycle may be recorded on one form.

Under Sections 48.4/48.24, Cooperative Training Program, the cooperative trainer may sign the training certificate upon partial completion of cooperative training. Final signature upon completion of the program must be by the operator or his representative.

For Surface Mines and Surface Areas of Underground Mines
Under Section 48.31 Hazard Training, the operator may use a Form 5000-23 for hazard training. The Form 5000-23 need not be used, however, if the following situations satisfy hazard training requirements:

  1. Verbal instructions of mine hazard avoidance procedures are given by mine personnel, and the person receiving the instructions signs a log sheet indicating receipt of the instructions.

  2. Written instructions of mine hazard avoidance procedures are supplied. The written instructions, signed by the person receiving them, or a log sheet signed by the recipient must be maintained as a record.

48.10/48.30 Compensation for Training
Sections 48.10/48.30 implement Section 115(b) of the Mine Act ("miners shall be paid at their normal rate of compensation while taking such training"). Sections 48.2(d)/48.22(d), which define "normal working hours," state in part that: "miners shall be paid at a rate of pay which shall correspond to the rate of pay they would have received had they been performing their normal work tasks."

The purpose of both the statute and the regulations is to assure that miners are not financially penalized when they receive training during work hours. For example, if a miner is "cross shifted," and the "cross shift" is considered normal working hours, the rate of pay the miner would receive if working is the rate the miner must receive while in training.

48.11/48.31 Hazard Training
The exposure to mining hazards varies according to the task. The greater the hazard exposure, the greater the need for training. Hazard training should be:

  1. mine specific, so that persons are advised of the hazards they may encounter at a particular mine; and

  2. conducted each time a person enters a different mine.
Examples of Appropriate Training
Although the amount of required training may vary, the following are examples of appropriate training: