Defining Miners & MSHA
The term ‘miners’ refers to all personnel who work at a mine or are involved in mining operations. This also includes independent contractors and the workers who are working under their supervision. Construction workers who are exposed to mining hazards are also included in this.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is responsible for overseeing health and safety standards in the mining industry. This includes ensuring all miners are trained in safety best practices will they are on-site.
What is MSHA Part 46?
MSHA Part 46 is part of miner training that deals with documentation requirements at certain mines. Specifically, it applies to miners who are involved in shell dredging or those hired to work in sand, gravel, limestone, colloidal phosphate or surface clay mines. In other words, MSHA Part 46 applies to non-metal, non-coal surface minds.
Personnel who are not miners under Part 46 include delivery workers, customers, vendors, visitors, maintenance crew members and service workers. In other words, anyone who does not work at the mine for extended periods of time and are not regularly considered miners.
When answering the question, “What is MSHA Part 46?” it’s important to understand the key players involved in the training. Taking a step back, one can see that there are three key players involved in MSHA Part 46. These three include:
- Responsible Person
- MSHA defines a ‘responsible person’ as the “person designated by the operator who is responsible for the health and safety training at the mine. This person may be the production-operator or independent contractor.” Basically, the responsible person is the one that makes sure that all on-site surface miners have taken and the proper training courses.
- Competent Person
- As also described by MSHA, “A competent person is a person who is designated by the production-operator or independent contractor who has the ability, training, knowledge, or experience to provide training to miners in his or her area of expertise.” To put simply, these competent person is the one that provides the training to surface miners.
- Last, but certainly not least, are the miners, the one’s that keep the mining industry afloat. MSHA provides a very brief description of miners, saying, “who works at a mine and who is engaged in mining operations.”
All miners who come under Part 46 must have a training plan in place that includes specific and accredited courses. The topics are mandated by Part 46 and must be taught to workers at different times. Here are a few of the topics covered in MSHA Part 46 Mine Safety Training:
- General safety and Health Provisions
- Health Hazards & Hazard Communications
- Cranes and Rigging
- Electrical Safety
- Fall Protection
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Subjects for New Miner Training
- Stairways and Ladders
Whether you are a surface miner or contractor, you need proper safety training to ensure you don’t get injured on the job or worse. All new miners must complete over 24 hours of training within 90 days of being hired as well.
Accredited, comprehensive MSHA Part 46 training packages offer surface miners the courses and information they need to remain safe and compliant while on the job. Once the training is complete, surface miners can print out a certificate of completion from to present to their supervisor as proof that they have the qualifications to work in a mine without putting their life, or the lives of others, at risk.