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U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street South, Suite 401
Arlington, VA 22202-5450

EFFECTIVE DATE:   March 13, 2013 EXPIRATION DATE: 3/31/2024            
LAST VALIDATED: 03/31/2021


                    Administrator for
                    Coal Mine Safety and Health

                      NEAL H. MERRIFIELD
                      Administrator for
                      Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

                      SYED HAFEEZ
                      Acting Director
                      Program Evaluation and Information Resources

SUBJECT:    Reissue of P11-V-05 - Employment Agency Contracting and Part 50

This Program Policy Letter (PPL) is intended for Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) personnel, mine operators, contractors, miners' representatives, and other interested parties.

This PPL is issued to clarify that miners obtained through a temporary employment agency contractor are "miners" for purposes of reporting under 30 C.F.R. Part 50.

When miners are supplied by a temporary employment agency, under 30 C.F.R. 50.20 and 50.30 the mine operator is responsible for reporting accidents, injuries, illnesses, production and hours worked by these employees. Section 3(g) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and 30 C.F.R. 50.2(c) defines "miner" as "any individual working in a mine." Section 3(d) of the Mine Act and 30 C.F.R. 50.2(c) defines "operator" as "[a]ny owner, lessee, or other person who operates, controls, or supervises a coal mine" and any person "operating" or "charged with the responsibility for the operation of" a metal or nonmetal mine. These temporary agency workers are miners by definition and the mine operator controls and supervises these miners while they are working at that mine.

MSHA regulations at 30 C.F.R. Part 50 require all mine operators to report accidents, illnesses, production, and employment and working hours. Many operators no longer initially hire new miners directly. Rather, operators obtain miners through contractors that furnish manpower for short or long periods. Some operators are not reporting Part 50 information involving these temporary agency employees.

When miners are supplied by a temporary employment agency contractor, the miners perform a variety of activities at the mine and work side-by-side with miners employed directly by the mine operator. This arrangement is in contrast to a traditional contractor where the contractor is performing a specific task and the contractor maintains supervisory control over its employees. When a temporary employment agency or other contractor supplies miners to the operator, the mine operator supervises these miners.

The information obtained through 30 C.F.R. Part 50 populates MSHA's database for tracking safety and health trends and provides MSHA a basis for targeting problem areas. Complete reporting furthers these purposes and assures more comprehensive and accurate event profiles and incidence rates attributable to the practices at particular mines.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.; 30 C.F.R. part 50.

Filing Instructions
This PPL should be filed behind the tab marked "Program Policy Letters" at the back of Volume III of the Program Policy Manual.

Internet Availability
This PPL may be viewed on the MSHA home page by choosing "Compliance Info" and "Program Policy Letters."

Issuing Offices and Contact Persons
Mine Safety and Health Enforcement
Marcus Smith, (202) 693-9547

Program Evaluation and Information Resources
Sherie Wycoff, (303) 231-5812

MSHA Program Policy Manual Holders
Miners' Representatives
Mine Operators
Independent Contractors
Special Interest Groups