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MSHA Updates Criteria for Certification of Coal Mine Rescue Teams; Revises Advanced Training Instructional Guides

F Marie Athey OHST

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F Marie Athey OHST | January 29, 2014 | Comments Off on MSHA Updates Criteria for Certification of Coal Mine Rescue Teams; Revises Advanced Training Instructional Guides

Coal Mine Rescue TeamsThe Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has updated its criteria for the certification of coal mine rescue team with the release of a Federal Register notice that noted the revision of instructional guides for advanced training.

Coal mine rescue teams are required to be trained annually on advanced mine rescue training and procedures according to Sec. 49.18 (b)(4) and per the MSHA’s Office of Educational Policy and Development (EPD). For the advanced training, the Instruction Guide IG7 is used, which is also known as “Advanced Mine Recue Training—Coal Mines.” This instructional guide covers all the training materials that facilitate individual and group learning among mine rescue team members.

The following highlights are some of the changes to the guide:

–       The addition of a new guide called Instruction Guide IG7a for new practical exercises. Basically the practical exercises were moved from the existing guide to this new one.

–       The Instruction Guide IG7a also contains new exercises that build teamwork for improved emergency response. Expectations training was also included in the said guide.

–       The reorganization of lessons and exercises contained in the Instruction Guide IG7; Note that no changes were made to the materials for classroom training as contained in Instruction Guide IG7.

To know more about the revised guides, visit

The comment period for the proposed revision of the guides ended last November 25, 2013. Prior to this, the MSHA published Federal Register notice 78 FR 58567, which announced the publication of the revised instruction guides on the agency’s website, and called on the public to  comment on the guides to ensure their effectiveness and quality.

The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006 mandates the MSHA to update the certification criteria every five years. One of these criteria requires operators to ensure that coal mine rescue team qualifications are kept current through the annual training of its members. This requirement for approving annual rescue team certifications is covered by the 30 CFR 49.50. offers MHSA Part 46 Surface miner training and annual refresher training for surface miners. Stay tuned for more of our blog posts on occupational health and safety for miners.

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