The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has developed an electronic filing system that enables mine operators and independent contractors to prepare training plans via MSHA''s home page.
According to federal regulations, mine operators and contractors must have an MSHA-approved plan for training new miners, experienced miners who are newly employed by a mine operation, and miners undertaking new tasks.
They are not, however, obligated to submit their plans to MSHA.
"This high-tech approach certainly will make it easier for mine operators to prepare their training plans under the new Part 46 regulation, which went into effect last week," said MSHA Administrator Davitt McAteer.
Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers approximately 10,000 aggregate operators and 100,000 miners.
"Electronic preparation has many advantages," said McAteer. "The online instructions are user-friendly and allow mine operators to develop and maintain records that are consistent in format and design and easier to complete, update or revise."
The electronic filing mechanism includes an introduction to the system, general requirements, step-by-step instructions and links to other resources, such as federal regulations, policy issues and training products available from the Mine Health and Safety Academy.
Mine operators can select specific teaching methods, course materials and evaluation techniques from a list of program modules.
Users can access the system with a contractor identification number. A temporary number will be generated for organizations without an ID.
The electronic training plan system is available at www.msha.gov. Choose "Forms and Online Filings," followed by "Online Training Plans."
by Virginia Sutcliffe