Training and Part 46 vs 48 F.A.Q.

MSHA Training FAQ

Who needs MSHA training?

Anyone who works on any type of mine site (underground or surface) needs to have MSHA “New Miner” training. There are some exceptions for those that are on site for a very short time (they will need to be escorted on site), or those that never leave their vehicle (such as a logging truck driver that is traversing through the mine site but not stopping). Each mine site may have slightly different protocols for their single visit or very short time contractors, but in general, anyone working at a mine site for more than a day or two is required to have “New Miner” training.

What is the difference between Part 46 and Part 48 training?

Part 46 pertains to the following types of Surface Mining Operations:

Sand, Gravel, Stone, Crushed Stone, Limestone, Clay, Shell Dredging, and Colloidal Phosphate Mining.

Part 48 pertains to All Other Surface and Underground Mining Operations. If it’s not listed above, it’s under Part 48.

What’s the difference?

Both Parts require the same amount and frequency of training. Under Part 46, the training plan must contain the required information as outlined in part 46.5-12. The training plan does not need to be submitted to MSHA for prior approval, but must be available to all miners and MSHA at any time. The mine person responsible for Health and Safety (there needs to be one) must verify all training times and topics and keep all records as required by MSHA. The safety instructors do not need to be MSHA certified, but must be deemed competent to perform the training. We have generic training plans that can be modified to assist a small mine operator in creating a plan that would be acceptable to MSHA. We can offer training that covers your training plan, and is provided by instructors that are deemed “Competent” and are readily recognized by MSHA inspectors.  The following link will bring you to the Part 46 training portion of the MSHA website and has sample plans and other useful information.

Click Here for Part 46 assistance

Part 48 Training Plans must be approved by MSHA prior to the start of any mining operations. If you are a contractor, you will be trained according to the Training Plan of the mine at which you will be working. Instructors must be MSHA certified (or approved by an MSHA certified instructor with a certified instructor present during training). Our training plans cover all MSHA required topics and are MSHA approved as a generic plan. We can review your plan to verify out lesson plans cover all aspects of your plan. If you are trained as a “New Miner” by us, you will receive all required training except for Site-specific and Task Training. These will be provided by the mining company at which you will be working, and may be from a few minutes to several hours in length (or more in certain cases). Every time you work at a new mine site, even if you have 20 years experience, you will be required to receive Site-specific training and any new task training that may be applicable.

Now…the grey area!

A miner trained under Part 46 will not be considered trained for a mine site that falls under Part 48, the miner will be considered a “New Miner” with no experience.  However, our training plans in many cases are nearly identical for Part 46 and some Part 48 mines, so depending on the situation, some training can overlap.  Contact us for more information.

Please note!
If we are providing annual refresher training, you will need to have documentation verifying each miner’s past “New Miner” training. If MSHA cannot verify training they will have to assume that the miner has not been properly trained and that he/she will need “New Miner” training. Keep all training records! This is very important, MSHA does not keep copies of past training!


How much training is required?

This depends on past experience and mine type.

For Non-Coal mines

(includes all sand, stone, metal and non-metal mines. Everything except coal mining)

“New Miner” Training: If you have never had any MSHA training in the past, you are required to have 24 hours of training for any surface mine and 40 hours of training for any underground mine. Depending on the mine and expected tasks, MSHA may allow only 24 hours of training for working at the surface areas only of an underground mine.

For Surface Non-Coal Mines we can provide the required 24 hours of training. You will just need any site/task specific training provided by the company where you will be working.

For Underground Non-Coal Mines MSHA states that “approximately” 8 hours of new miner underground training should occur at the mine…this is a little ambiguous and we can offer either a 32 hour program or up to 40 hours depending on the situaton. We typically offer 40 hours of training for New Miners. Talk with us and we can discuss what is best for you situation.

“Annual Refresher” Training: Anyone working at a mine site must have 8 hours of training each year. This applies to any type of surface or underground mine. First Aid/CPR must be refreshed every three years.

“Experienced Miner” Training: If you have your “New Miner” training completed and have the records available, you will need a minimum of 8 hours of “Experienced Miner” training to be able to work at any other non-coal mine.



For Coal Mines

(Includes coal mining only, nothing else)

Surface Coal Mines: “New Miner” training requires 24 hours of training.

Underground Coal Mines: “New Miner” training requires 40 hours of training for underground coal mines. There will be much more site-specific training required for Underground Coal mines than other types of mining. Some states also have state required training and documentation for coal mining.

We do not offer coal mine training at this time.

Click here for Coal Mine regional contact information

What does MSHA require you to learn?

MSHA has many specific topics that must be covered and many broad topics. We attempt to cater the training to mine-specific topics and also base it on the Trainees experience. If we are training Licensed Blasters, they probably know their area of expertise better than we do, so training will focus more on other topics. Where as if we are training Surveyors to work around blast-holes, we will focus much more on explosives safety! But regardless of your experience, if you have never worked on a mine site, you are required to complete “New Miner” training.

What is an appropriate training room/facility?

We will be traveling to your location, so what we can bring is limited. The room must have adequate space for and include seating with desks/tables and also space for practicing First Aid/CPR on the floor for all trainees (tables/chairs can be temporarily moved aside if space is tight).

We use a projector, so a screen or flat light colored wall is needed to project training materials onto. If the room has lots of windows, some way to darken the room enough to use a projector is also needed. A marker board/chalk board or similar is very helpful.

Lunch/Refreshments and restrooms need to be provided or available fairly close by so trainees can get lunch and restroom breaks in a reasonable amount of time.

We will bring all training materials and resources required. We will bring a projector and sound system for video presentations if one is not available.