MSHA, or Mine safety and Health Administration, certification is the proof of training or retraining within the mining industry as outlined by the Administration, which is required for various jobs within the mining industry.
The most common mining training is found under the Title 30 CFR – Part 46 regulations, which stipulates that new miners must complete a minimum of 24 hours training in their first 90 days of employment, including 4 hours which must be completed before any new miner can work at a mine, whether they are surface miners or surface mining contractors.
In addition to that initial training, all surface miners and surface mining contractors working at a mining site are required to complete at least 8 hours of annual refresher training every year. The contents of that refresher training are also quite specific, and must include changes at the mine that could adversely affect a miner’s health or safety and other health and safety subjects relevant to mining operations at the time. Other than the Part 46 courses, MSHA also have several other training initiatives, including Hazardous Chemicals, Emergency Spill Response, Electrical Hazards and miner’s rights.
MSHA training requirements do not just apply to miners themselves, but all surface mining contractors that work at a mining site. Because the regulations themselves define a miner as anyone who us engaged in “mining operations, which is:
- mine development
- screening or sizing of minerals at a mine
- maintenance and repair of equipment
- associated hauling of materials within the mine from these activities
That means heavy machinery operators and truck drivers who operate at a mining site need the MSHA certification just like the miners themselves.
Because Part 46 training is mandatory, anyone wanting to work at a surface mine has an interest in completing this course, this includes contractors and machinery operators, not only for the legal compliance, but to also have a good grounding in the dangers of mining sites and the safety protocols that provide workers with protection.
While those currently working at a mine must complete the MSHA training to comply with part 46 regulations, for any heavy machinery operator it can be beneficial to look into such certification for yourself, especially the 4 hours required before you can step on site. The reason for this is that it opens up another career avenue, with only qualified people being able to take on mining jobs, having that qualification in advance can help if you are looking to move into that sector.