MSHA: What Is It? Who Needs MSHA Training?

MSHA is the acronym for the Mine Safety and Health Administration and is the federal government agency responsible for protecting the health and safety of all U.S. miners. MSHA develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines regardless of their size or number of employees. Since its creation, MSHA has had a significant impact on improving the safety of mines. In 1978, 242 miners died in mining accidents. In 2020, that number fell to 29. In 2022, the current number of miners who have died is 27. Contrast that with the fateful day of December 6, 1907, when more than 350 miners were killed when two massive explosions occurred at a mine site in Monongah, West Virginia. Due to that disaster, December 6 is now designated as National Miners Day. National Miners Day is not only a day to commemorate the anniversary of the worst mining accident in American history but to recognize the hard work of miners across this country and to thank them for their essential contributions to our society.

Mining dates back to early civilization. Archaeological discoveries suggest that people have mined flint, copper, and obsidian to create tools and weapons showcasing human ingenuity and creativity. Today metals and other industrial materials such as palladium, feldspar, lithium, gold, graphite, sulfur, iron ore, coal, and silver are mined and used to build cars, roads, houses, satellites, medical equipment, electronics, and other necessary technologies and infrastructure. There is no doubt that mining is a crucial part of our economy, but it can be extremely dangerous work.

Abandoned mines can be hazardous and mining can lead to health issues such as hearing loss, repetitive trauma, and lung diseases such as pneumoconiosis and silicosis. Additionally, there are risks such as cave-ins and collapses which can lead to workers being crushed or trapped. Along with the dangers posed by explosions, toxic air and gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane, extreme temperatures, heavy machinery, vehicle rollovers, falling rock, slips and falls, and electrocutions, mines are dangerous places to work.

The dangers of mining were recognized more than a century ago. In 1891, the first Federal Mine Safety statute was passed, and nineteen years later the U.S. Bureau of Mines was established to promote mine safety. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) of 1977 and the New Miner Emergency Response (Miner) Act of 2006 were developed to keep miners safe from hazards. MSHA’s mission is to promote the health and safety of workplaces for all U.S. miners. Keep in mind, if you are opening a new mine, you will need to register with MSHA immediately and obtain a mine identification number. Section 115 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act 30 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) requires mine operators to have an approved training plan under which miners are provided training in a language they understand. Federal law requires that all miners receive, at the minimum, basic and annual refresher training and site-specific hazard awareness training. Given the dangers at mine sites, it may not be surprising to know that MSHA training is not just for miners. Most people who perform work at mine sites such as independent contractors, management, vendors, construction workers, or anyone present at a mine site, must be trained.

There are two types of MSHA training requirements in 30 CFR; Part 46 and Part 48.

Part 46 – Covers surface mining operations for sand, gravel, stone, limestone, clay, shell dredging, and colloidal phosphate mining.

Part 48 – Covers underground mining operations, as well as other surface mining operations not covered by Part 46.

Mine safety training is crucial to reduce workplace accidents at mine sites.

At Safety Consulting Specialists, our MSHA training is designed to meet all MSHA requirements in a cost-effective, efficient manner. Our goal is to increase overall safety awareness for miners by covering hazard recognition, mine site rules, emergency procedures, and other mine safety topics with thorough training.

We provide:

  • Written 30 CFR Part 46 & Part 48 Training Plans
  • Part 46 & Part 48 Training
  • New Miner Training
  • Newly Hired Experienced Miner Training
  • New Task Training
  • Site-Specific Hazard Awareness Training
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Respiratory Training

Whether you need new miner training, annual refresher training, or just have questions about current MSHA requirements, we can help. Our safety consultants are MSHA-approved instructors and are knowledgeable about the policies, procedures, and regulations required under MSHA. Our MSHA training specialists are committed to protecting miners and those present at mine sites so they can do their job safely. Please speak to one of our safety specialists today to find out more about our MSHA training by calling 919-417-2139 or sending an email to We will be glad to discuss your MSHA training needs and answer any questions.