Access MSHA Part 46 Training Info HereA Written Guidance  

Areas of Special Emphasis Currently Underway

Contractor Onsite Safety

  2019 & 2020 ~ the majority of fatalities involved contractors on the mine site. 

  For assistance in Contractor Safety Management contact WACA Member:
    Dan Donovan, Safety Consultant 206.399.8801   [email protected] 

High Wall Safety

  2020 the PNW experienced a number of high wall incidents. 
  Be aware the agency has placed high wall  inspections as a priority upon visiting a site.
 Recent heavy rains and winter weather will elevate agency concerns and may  undermine high wall stability 

Safety Training and Awareness Campaigns

Areas of emphasis that you can add to your safety training and awareness campaigns are: 

  • Take a close look at their work place exams and the persons who conduct them.  Are they thorough? Are they effective?  Are they task-trained to perform them?  Can they be improved?  Are the documents effective?  
  • Appropriate Task & work place exam training will ensure that miners recognize and understand hazards and how to control or eliminate them. 
  • Rules to Live by Version 1 & 3 are focused on the MNM industry and are a good resource to focus your safety meetings on.
  • Need assistance and guidance in reviewing your plans? 
      Contact Heather Smith, Educational Field and Small Mine Services. 2018 WACA Safety Award Recipient
      O 541.924.8495 | C 863.447.7727 | E  [email protected]

Workplace Exam Requirements

In Place Now:  Workplace exams PowerPoint 

Download Letter:  Program Policy Letter (PPL)

This Program Policy Letter (PPL) applies to surface and underground metal and nonmetal mine operators, contractors, equipment manufacturers, miners, miners' representatives, and Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health enforcement personnel.

The purpose of this PPL is to clarify that the examination of working places required under 30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.18002 includes the requirement that the operator shall examine each working place at least once each shift for conditions which adversely affect safety or health, that the examination must be conducted by a competent person, and that a record of the examination must be maintained and made available for review by the Secretary or his authorized representative.

Agency Information Posted as of Jan. 4, 2021

MSHA Response to COVID
MSHA Home Page

EFSMS (Educational Field & Small Mine Services
West Region Info
2020 Fatality Report
Powered Haulage Safety Initiative - Currently a special emphasis initiative
Training and Education
Workplace Exams PowerPoint

Access Additional MSHA Guidance Here

2021 Part 46 Annual Refresher Training and Spring Thaw events:

  • Part 46 Annual Refresher Training was held as a hybrid event on Tuesday February 23, 2021
  • Spring Thaw was held on Tuesday March 2, 2021. Contact Mary Bauer @ [email protected] if you wish to receive a link to the PowerPoint presentations by Gary Hebel, ADM MSHA, Dan Donovan, GEW, Leroy Hopkins, Training Specialist MSHA, or Rob Wynegar, Safety Specialist Granite Construction.
  • As COVID restrictions remain in place and new WH Administration COVID declarations remain unknown, the Association has asked for agency guidance on remote, hybrid learning formats to ensure Part 46 training (including first-aid) conducted remotely will be acceptable.
  • MSHA guidance suggest that annual training deadlines from the previous year may be extended. (see below, "What actions is MSHA taking during COVID")

 What actions is MSHA taking during COVID?

  • MSHA is abiding by the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which are based on the CDC Interim Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • MSHA will continue to perform its essential functions, including mandatory inspections, serious accident investigations, and investigations of hazard complaints (imminent danger or serious in nature). 
  • For the pendency of the President’s national emergency declaration, MSHA has suspended Educational Field and Small Mine Services visits, as well as special safety and fatality initiatives that normally would gather groups of miners on-site to discuss powered haulage, electrocution, and contractor safety.
  • To the extent feasible, inspectors are maintaining distance from miners while performing inspections.  
  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration will work with mine operators when it comes to the following recertification:
    • Annual refresher training certification (30 CFR Part 46)
    • Surface and underground annual refresher training certification (30 CFR Part 48)
    • Certified person; sampling (30 CFR §§ 70/71/90.202)
    • Certified person; maintenance and calibration (30 CFR §§ 70/71/90.203)
    • Exemptions to recertification will not be granted; however, their due dates will be extended by at least the time the government is operating under the President’s emergency declaration.

    Please note: This exception does not apply to new miner training. New miners must be trained before beginning work. Once the Emergency Declaration is lifted, mine operators should work with their respective district offices to ensure that all certifications are conducted in a timely manner.