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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 13, 2020

Title 30Chapter ISubchapter H → Part 49


Title 30: Mineral Resources


PART 49—MINE RESCUE TEAMS


Contents

Subpart A—Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mines

§49.1   Purpose and scope.
§49.2   Availability of mine rescue teams.
§49.3   Alternative mine rescue capability for small and remote mines.
§49.4   Alternative mine rescue capability for special mining conditions.
§49.5   Mine rescue station.
§49.6   Equipment and maintenance requirements.
§49.7   Physical requirements for mine rescue team.
§49.8   Training for mine rescue teams.
§49.9   Mine emergency notification plan.

Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Coal Mines

§49.11   Purpose and scope.
§49.12   Availability of mine rescue teams.
§49.13   Alternative mine rescue capability for small and remote mines.
§49.14   [Reserved]
§49.15   Mine rescue station.
§49.16   Equipment and maintenance requirements.
§49.17   Physical requirements for mine rescue team.
§49.18   Training for mine rescue teams.
§49.19   Mine emergency notification plan.
§49.20   Requirements for all coal mines.
§49.30   Requirements for small coal mines.
§49.40   Requirements for large coal mines.
§49.50   Certification of coal mine rescue teams.
§49.60   Requirements for a local mine rescue contest.
Appendix to Subpart B of Part 49—Optional Form for Certifying Mine Rescue Teams

Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811, 825(e).

Source: 45 FR 47002, July 11, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mines

§49.1   Purpose and scope.

This part implements the provisions of Section 115(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Every operator of an underground mine shall assure the availability of mine rescue capability for purposes of emergency rescue and recovery.

§49.2   Availability of mine rescue teams.

(a) Except where alternative compliance is permitted for small and remote mines (§49.3) or those mines operating under special mining conditions (§49.4), every operator of an underground mine shall:

(1) Establish at least two mine rescue teams which are available at all times when miners are underground; or

(2) Enter into an arrangement for mine rescue services which assures that at least two mine rescue teams are available at all times when miners are underground.

(b) Each mine rescue team shall consist of five members and one alternate, who are fully qualified, trained, and equipped for providing emergency mine rescue service.

(c) To be considered for membership on a mine rescue team, each person must have been employed in an underground mine for a minimum of one year within the past five years. For the purpose of mine rescue work only, miners who are employed on the surface but work regularly underground shall meet the experience requirement. The underground experience requirement is waived for those miners on a mine rescue team on the effective date of this rule.

(d) Each operator shall arrange, in advance, ground transportation for rescue teams and equipment to the mine or mines served.

(e) Upon the effective date of this part, the required rescue capability shall be present at all existing underground mines, upon initial excavation of a new underground mine entrance, or the re-opening of an existing underground mine.

(f) Except where alternative compliance is permitted under §49.3 or §49.4, no mine served by a mine rescue team shall be located more than two hours ground travel time from the mine rescue station with which the rescue team is associated.

(g) As used in this part, mine rescue teams shall be considered available where teams are capable presenting themselves at the mine site(s) within a reasonable time after notification of an occurrence which might require their services. Rescue team members will be considered available even though performing regular work duties or in an off-duty capacity. The requirement that mine rescue teams be available shall not apply when teams are participating in mine rescue contests or providing services to another mine.

(h) Each operator of an underground mine who provides rescue teams under this section shall send the District Manager a statement describing the mine's method of compliance with this part. The statement shall disclose whether the operator has independently provided mine rescue teams or entered into an agreement for the services of mine rescue teams. The name of the provider and the location of the services shall be included in the statement. A copy of the statement shall be posted at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the statement.

§49.3   Alternative mine rescue capability for small and remote mines.

(a) If an underground mine is small and remote, an operator may provide for an alternative mine rescue capability. For the purposes of this part only, consideration for small and remote shall be given where the total underground employment of the operator's mine and any surrounding mine(s) within two hours ground travel time of the operator's mine is less than 36.

(b) An application for alternative mine rescue capability shall be submitted to the District Manager for the district in which the mine is located for review and approval.

(c) Each application for an alternative mine rescue capability shall contain:

(1) The number of miners employed underground at the mine on each shift;

(2) The distances from the two nearest mine rescue stations;

(3) The total underground employment of mines within two hours ground travel time of the operator's mine;

(4) The operator's mine fire, ground, and roof control history;

(5) The operator's established escape and evacuation plan;

(6) A statement by the operator evaluating the usefulness of additional refuge chambers to supplement those which may exist;

(7) A statement by the operator as to the number of miners willing to serve on a mine rescue team;

(8) The operator's alternative plan for assuring that a suitable mine rescue capability is provided at all times when miners are underground; and

(9) Other relevant information about the operator's mine which may be requested by the District Manager.

(d) A copy of the operator's application shall be posted at the mine. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the application.

(e) In determining whether to approve an application for alternative compliance, the District Manager shall consider:

(1) The individual circumstances of the small and remote mine;

(2) Comments submitted by, or on behalf of, any affected miner; and

(3) Whether the alternative mine rescue plan provides a suitable rescue capability at the operator's mine.

(f) Where alternative compliance is approved by MSHA, the operator shall adopt the alternative plan and post a copy of the approved plan (with appropriate MSHA mine emergency telephone numbers) at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the approved plan.

(g) The operator shall notify the District Manager of any changed condition or factor materially affecting information submitted in the application for alternative mine rescue capability.

(h)(1) An approved plan for alternative mine rescue capability shall be subject to revocation or modification for cause by MSHA, where it is determined that a condition or factor has changed which would materially alter the operator's mine rescue capability. If such action is contemplated, the operator will be notified, and given an opportunity to be heard before the appropriate District Manager.

(2) If an application for alternative compliance is denied or revoked, the District Manager shall provide the reason for such denial or revocation in writing to the operator. The operator may appeal this decision in writing to the Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

[45 FR 47002, July 11, 1980, as amended at 67 FR 38385, June 4, 2002; 80 FR 52986, Sept. 2, 2015]

§49.4   Alternative mine rescue capability for special mining conditions.

(a) If an underground mine is operating under special mining conditions, the operator may provide an alternative mine rescue capability.

(b) An application for alternative mine rescue capability shall be submitted to the District Manager for the district in which the mine is located for review and approval.

(c) To be considered “operating under special mining conditions,” the operator must show that all of the following conditions are present:

(1) The mine has multiple adits or entries;

(2) The mined substance is noncombustible and the mining atmosphere nonexplosive;

(3) There are multiple vehicular openings to all active mine areas, sufficient to allow fire and rescue vehicles full access to all parts of the mine in which miners work or travel;

(4) Roadways or other openings are not supported or lined with combustible materials;

(5) The mine shall not have a history of flammable-gas emission or accumulation, and the mined substance shall not have a history associated with flammable or toxic gas problems; and

(6) Any reported gas or oil well or exploratory drill hole shall be plugged to within 100 feet above and below the horizon of the ore body or seam.

(d) Each application shall contain:

(1) An explanation of the special mining conditions;

(2) The number of miners employed underground at the mine on each shift;

(3) The distances from the two nearest mine rescue stations;

(4) The operator's mine fire history;

(5) The operator's established escape and evacuation plan;

(6) The operator's alternative plan for assuring that a suitable mine rescue capability is provided at all times when miners are underground; and

(7) Other relevant information about the operator's mine which may be requested by the District Manager.

(e) A copy of the operator's application shall be posted at the mine. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the application.

(f) In determining whether to approve an application for alternative compliance, the District Manager shall consider:

(1) The individual circumstances of the mine operating under special mining conditions;

(2) Comments submitted by, or on behalf of, any affected miner; and

(3) Whether the alternative mine rescue plan provides a suitable rescue capability at the operator's mine.

(g) Where alternative compliance is approved by MSHA the operator shall adopt the alternative plan and post a copy of the approved plan (with appropriate MSHA mine emergency telephone numbers) at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the alternative plan.

(h) The operator shall notify the District Manager of any changed condition or factor materially affecting information submitted in the application for alternative mine rescue capability.

(i)(1) An approved plan for alternative mine rescue capability shall be subject be to revocation or modification by MSHA, where it is determined that a condition or factor has changed which would materially alter the operator's mine rescue capability. If such action is contemplated, the operator will be notified and given an opportunity to be heard before the appropriate District Manager.

(2) If an application for alternative compliance is denied or revoked, the District Manager shall provide the reason for such denial or revocation in writing to the operator. The operator may appeal this decision in writing to the Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.

[45 FR 47002, July 11, 1980, as amended at 67 FR 38385, June 4, 2002; 80 FR 52986, Sept. 2, 2015]

§49.5   Mine rescue station.

(a) Except where alternative compliance is permitted, every operator of an underground mine shall designate, in advance, the location of the mine rescue station serving the mine.

(b) Mine rescue stations are to provide a centralized storage location for rescue equipment. This centralized storage location may be either at the mine site, affiliated mines, or a separate mine rescue structure.

(c) Mine rescue stations shall provide a proper storage environment to assure equipment readiness for immediate use.

(d) Authorized representatives of the Secretary shall have the right of entry to inspect any designated mine rescue station.

§49.6   Equipment and maintenance requirements.

(a) Each mine rescue station shall be provided with at least the following equipment:

(1) Twelve self-contained breathing apparatus, each with a minimum of 4 hours capacity (approved by MSHA and NIOSH under 42 CFR Part 84, Subpart H), and any necessary equipment for testing such breathing apparatus;

(2) A portable supply of liquid air, liquid oxygen, pressurized oxygen, or oxygen generating chemicals, and carbon dioxide absorbent chemicals, applicable to the supplied breathing apparatus and sufficient to sustain each team for eight hours while using the breathing apparatus during rescue operations.

(3) Two extra, fully-charged oxygen bottles for every six self-contained breathing apparatus;

(4) One oxygen pump or a cascading system, compatible with the supplied breathing apparatus;

(5) Twelve permissible cap lamps and a charging rack;

(6) Four gas detectors appropriate for each type of gas that may be encountered at the mines served. Gas detectors must measure concentrations of methane from 0.0 percent to 100 percent of volume, oxygen from 0.0 percent to at least 20 percent of volume, and carbon monoxide from 0.0 parts per million to at least 9,999 parts per million.

(7) [Reserved]

(8) One portable mine rescue communication system (approved under part 23 of this title) or a sound-powered communication system.

(i) The wires or cable to the communication system shall be of sufficient tensile strength to be used as a manual communication system.

(ii) These communication systems shall be at least 1,000 feet in length.

(9) Necessary spare parts and tools for repairing the breathing apparatus and communication system.

(b) Mine rescue apparatus and equipment shall be maintained in a manner that will ensure readiness for immediate use.

(1) A person trained in the use and care of breathing apparatus shall inspect and test the apparatus at intervals not exceeding 30 days and shall certify by signature and date that the inspections and tests were done.

(2) When the inspection indicates that a corrective action is necessary, the corrective action shall be made and the person shall record the corrective action taken.

(3) The certification and the record of corrective action shall be maintained at the mine rescue station for a period of one year and made available on request to an authorized representative of the Secretary.

[73 FR 53123, Sept. 15, 2008]

§49.7   Physical requirements for mine rescue team.

(a) Each member of a mine rescue team shall be examined annually by a physician who shall certify that each person is physically fit to perform mine rescue and recovery work for prolonged periods under strenuous conditions. The first such physical examination shall be completed within 60 days prior to scheduled initial training. A team member requiring corrective eyeglasses will not be disqualified provided the eyeglasses can be worn securely within an approved facepiece.

(b) In determining whether a miner is physically capable of performing mine rescue duties, the physician shall take the following conditions into consideration:

(1) Seizure disorder;

(2) Perforated eardrum;

(3) Hearing loss without a hearing aid greater than 40 decibels at 400, 1,000 and 2,000 Hz;

(4) Repeated blood pressure (controlled or uncontrolled by medication) reading which exceeds 160 systolic, or 100 diastolic, or which is less than 105 systolic, or 60 diastolic;

(5) Distant visual acuity (without glasses) less than 20/50 Snellen scale in one eye, and 20/70 in the other;

(6) Heart disease;

(7) Hernia;

(8) Absence of a limb or hand; or

(9) Any other condition which the examining physician determines is relevant to the question of whether the miner is fit for rescue team service;

(c) The operator shall have MSHA Form 5000-3 certifying medical fitness completed and signed by the examining physician for each member of a mine rescue team. These forms shall be kept on file at the mine rescue station for a period of one year.

§49.8   Training for mine rescue teams.

(a) Prior to serving on a mine rescue team each member shall complete, at a minimum, an initial 20-hour course of instruction as prescribed by MSHA's Office of Educational Policy and Development, in the use, care, and maintenance of the type of breathing apparatus which will be used by the mine rescue team. The initial training requirement is waived for those miners on a mine rescue team on the effective date of this rule.

(b) Upon completion of the initial training, all team members shall receive at least 40 hours of refresher training annually. This training shall be given at least 4 hours each month, or for a period of 8 hours every two months. This training shall include:

(1) Sessions underground at least once each 6 months;

(2) The wearing and use of the breathing apparatus by team members for a period of at least two hours while under oxygen every two months;

(3) Where applicable, the use, care, capabilities, and limitations of auxiliary mine rescue equipment, or a different breathing apparatus;

(4) Advanced mine rescue training and procedures; as prescribed by MSHA's Office of Educational Policy and Development; and

(5) Mine map training and ventilation procedures.

(c) A mine rescue team member will be ineligible to serve on a team if more than 8 hours of training is missed during one year, unless additional training is received to make up for the time missed.

(d) The training courses required by this section shall be conducted by instructors who have been employed in an underground mine for a minimum of one year within the past five years, and who have received MSHA approval through:

(1) Completion of an MSHA or State approved instructor's training course and the program of instruction in the subject matter to be taught.

(2) Designation by the District Manager as approved instructors to teach specific courses, based on their qualifications and teaching experience. Previously approved instructors need not be re-designated to teach the approved courses as long as they have taught those courses within the 24 months prior to the effective date of this part. Where individuals are designated, the District Manager may waive the underground experience requirement.

(e) The District Manager may revoke an instructor's approval for good cause. A written statement revoking the approval together with reasons for revocation shall be provided the instructor. The affected instructor may appeal the decision of the District Manager by writing to the Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health, MSHA, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. The Administrator shall issue a decision on the appeal.

(f) Upon request from the District Manager, the operator shall provide information concerning the schedule of upcoming training.

(g) A record of training of each team member shall be on file at the mine rescue station for a period of one year.

[45 FR 47002, July 11, 1980, as amended at 47 FR 23641, May 28, 1982; 47 FR 28095, June 29, 1982; 67 FR 38385, June 4, 2002; 80 FR 52986, Sept. 2, 2015]

§49.9   Mine emergency notification plan.

(a) Each underground mine shall have a mine rescue notification plan outlining the procedures to follow in notifying the mine rescue teams when there is an emergency that requires their services.

(b) A copy of the mine rescue notification plan shall be posted at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the plan.

Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for Underground Coal Mines

Source: 73 FR 7648, Feb. 8, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§49.11   Purpose and scope.

(a) This subpart implements the provisions of section 115(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. Every operator of an underground coal mine shall assure the availability of mine rescue capability for purposes of emergency rescue and recovery.

(b) The following Table 49.11 summarizes the new requirements for mine rescue teams contained in section 4 of the MINER Act.

Table 49.11—Summary of New Miner Act Requirements for Underground Coal Mine Operators and Mine Rescue Teams

RequirementType of mine rescue team
Mine-siteCompositeContractState-
sponsored
Team members must participate at least annually in two local mine rescue contestsYESYESYESYES.
Team members must participate in mine rescue training at each mine covered by the mine rescue team. A portion of the training must be conducted undergroundAnnually at Large Mines; Semi-annually at Small MinesSemi-annuallyQuarterly at Large Mines; Semi-annually at Small MinesAnnually at Large Mines; Semi-annually at Small Mines.
Team must be available at the mine within 1 hour ground travel time from the mine rescue stationYESYESYESYES.
Team members must be knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of each covered mineYESYESYESYES.
Team must include at least two active employees from each covered large mine and at least one active employee from each covered small mineYES
Team must be comprised of persons with a minimum of 3 years underground coal mine experience that shall have occurred within the 10-year period preceding their employment on the contract mine rescue teamYES
All mine operators must provide for two certified mine rescue teams. Large mine operators shall provide one team that is either an individual mine-site mine rescue team or a composite team.

Team members of State-sponsored teams who are full-time State employees whose primary job duties include (1) inspecting underground mines for compliance with State safety laws or (2) training mine rescue teams or (3) other similar duties that would enhance their mine rescue knowledge may substitute their regular job experience for 50 percent of the training requirements for non-State employee mine rescue team members, except these team members must participate in two local mine rescue contests and train at the covered mine in accordance with §49.20(b).

[73 FR 7648, Feb. 8, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 28608, June 17, 2009]

§49.12   Availability of mine rescue teams.

(a) Except where alternative compliance is permitted for small and remote mines (§49.13), every operator of an underground mine shall:

(1) Establish at least two mine rescue teams which are available at all times when miners are underground; or

(2) Enter into an arrangement for mine rescue services which assures that at least two mine rescue teams are available at all times when miners are underground.

(b) Each mine rescue team shall consist of five members and one alternate who are fully qualified, trained, and equipped for providing emergency mine rescue service. Mine rescue teams for anthracite coal mines, which have no electrical equipment at the face or working section, shall consist of at least three members per team and one alternate that may be shared between both teams.

(c) To be considered for membership on a mine rescue team, each person must have been employed in an underground mine for a minimum of 1 year within the past 5 years, except that members of contract mine rescue teams shall have a minimum of 3 years underground coal mine experience that shall have occurred within the 10-year period preceding their employment on the contract mine rescue team. For the purpose of mine rescue work only, miners who are employed on the surface but work regularly underground shall meet the experience requirement. The underground experience requirement is waived for those miners on a mine rescue team on February 8, 2008.

(d) Each operator shall arrange, in advance, ground transportation for rescue teams and equipment to the mine or mines served.

(e) The required rescue capability shall be present at all existing underground mines, upon initial excavation of a new underground mine entrance, or the re-opening of an existing underground mine.

(f) No mine served by a mine rescue team shall be located more than 1 hour ground travel time from the mine rescue station with which the rescue team is associated.

(g) As used in this subpart, mine rescue teams shall be considered available where teams are capable of presenting themselves at the mine site(s) within a reasonable time after notification of an occurrence which might require their services. Rescue team members will be considered available even though performing regular work duties or in an off-duty capacity. The requirement that mine rescue teams be available shall not apply when teams are participating in mine rescue contests or providing services to another mine.

(h) Each operator of an underground mine who provides rescue teams under this section shall send the District Manager a statement describing the mine's method of compliance with this subpart. The statement shall disclose whether the operator has independently provided mine rescue teams or entered into an agreement for the services of mine rescue teams. The name of the provider and the location of the services shall be included in the statement. A copy of the statement shall be posted at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the statement.

§49.13   Alternative mine rescue capability for small and remote mines.

(a) If an underground mine is small and remote, an operator may provide for an alternative mine rescue capability consistent with statutory requirements. For the purposes of this subpart only, consideration for small and remote shall be given where the total underground employment of the operator's mine and any surrounding mine(s) within 1 hour ground travel time of the operator's mine is less than 36.

(b) An application for alternative mine rescue capability shall be submitted to the District Manager for the district in which the mine is located for review and approval.

(c) Each application for an alternative mine rescue capability shall contain:

(1) The number of miners employed underground at the mine on each shift;

(2) The location of the designated mine rescue station serving the mine;

(3) The total underground employment of mines within 1 hour ground travel time of the operator's mine;

(4) The operator's mine fire, ground, and roof control history;

(5) The operator's established escape and evacuation plan;

(6) A statement by the operator evaluating the usefulness of additional refuge chambers to supplement those which may exist;

(7) A statement by the operator as to the number of miners willing to serve on a mine rescue team;

(8) The operator's alternative plan for assuring that a suitable mine rescue capability is provided at all times when miners are underground; and

(9) Other relevant information about the operator's mine which may be requested by the District Manager.

(d) A copy of the operator's application shall be posted at the mine. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the application.

(e) In determining whether to approve an application for alternative compliance, the District Manager shall consider:

(1) The individual circumstances of the small and remote mine;

(2) Comments submitted by, or on behalf of, any affected miner; and

(3) Whether the alternative mine rescue plan provides a suitable rescue capability at the operator's mine.

(f) Where alternative compliance is approved by MSHA, the operator shall adopt the alternative plan and post a copy of the approved plan (with appropriate MSHA mine emergency telephone numbers) at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the approved plan.

(g) The operator shall notify the District Manager of any changed condition or factor materially affecting information submitted in the application for alternative mine rescue capability.

(h)(1) An approved plan for alternative mine rescue capability shall be subject to revocation or modification for cause by MSHA, where it is determined that a condition or factor has changed which would materially alter the operator's mine rescue capability. If such action is contemplated, the operator will be notified, and given an opportunity to be heard before the appropriate District Manager.

(2) If an application for alternative compliance is denied or revoked, the District Manager shall provide the reason for such denial or revocation in writing to the operator. The operator may appeal this decision in writing to the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health.

§49.14   [Reserved]

§49.15   Mine rescue station.

(a) Every operator of an underground mine shall designate, in advance, the location of the mine rescue station serving the mine.

(b) Mine rescue stations are to provide a centralized storage location for rescue equipment. This centralized storage location may be either at the mine site, affiliated mines, or a separate mine rescue structure.

(c) Mine rescue stations shall provide a proper storage environment to assure equipment readiness for immediate use.

(d) Authorized representatives of the Secretary shall have the right of entry to inspect any designated mine rescue station.

§49.16   Equipment and maintenance requirements.

(a) Each mine rescue station shall be provided with at least the following equipment. Mine rescue stations serving underground anthracite coal mines, which have no electrical equipment at the face or working section, shall have at least the amount of equipment appropriate for the number of mine rescue team members.

(1) Twelve self-contained breathing apparatus, each with a minimum of 4 hours capacity (approved by MSHA and NIOSH under 42 CFR part 84, subpart H), and any necessary equipment for testing such breathing apparatus.

(2) A portable supply of liquid air, liquid oxygen, pressurized oxygen, or oxygen generating chemicals, and carbon dioxide absorbent chemicals, as applicable to the supplied breathing apparatus and sufficient to sustain each team for 8 hours while using the breathing apparatus during rescue operations.

(3) Two extra, fully-charged oxygen bottles for every six self-contained breathing apparatus.

(4) One oxygen pump or a cascading system, compatible with the supplied breathing apparatus.

(5) Twelve permissible cap lamps and a charging rack.

(6) Four gas detectors appropriate for each type of gas that may be encountered at the mines served. Gas detectors must measure concentrations of methane from 0.0 percent to 100 percent of volume, oxygen from 0.0 percent to at least 20 percent of volume, and carbon monoxide from 0.0 parts per million to at least 9,999 parts per million.

(7) [Reserved]

(8) One portable mine rescue communication system (approved under part 23 of this title) or a sound-powered communication system.

(i) The wires or cable to the communication system shall be of sufficient tensile strength to be used as a manual communication system.

(ii) These communication systems shall be at least 1,000 feet in length.

(9) Necessary spare parts and tools for repairing the breathing apparatus and communication system.

(b) Mine rescue apparatus and equipment shall be maintained in a manner that will ensure readiness for immediate use.

(1) A person trained in the use and care of breathing apparatus shall inspect and test the apparatus at intervals not exceeding 30 days and shall certify by signature and date that the inspections and tests were done.

(2) When the inspection indicates that a corrective action is necessary, the corrective action shall be made and the person shall record the corrective action taken.

(3) The certification and the record of corrective action shall be maintained at the mine rescue station for a period of 1 year and made available on request to an authorized representative of the Secretary.

[73 FR 53123, Sept. 15, 2008]

§49.17   Physical requirements for mine rescue team.

(a) Each member of a mine rescue team shall be examined annually by a physician who shall certify that each person is physically fit to perform mine rescue and recovery work for prolonged periods under strenuous conditions. The first such physical examination shall be completed within 60 days prior to scheduled initial training. A team member requiring corrective eyeglasses will not be disqualified provided the eyeglasses can be worn securely within an approved facepiece.

(b) In determining whether a miner is physically capable of performing mine rescue duties, the physician shall take the following conditions into consideration:

(1) Seizure disorder;

(2) Perforated eardrum;

(3) Hearing loss without a hearing aid greater than 40 decibels at 400, 1000, and 2000 Hz;

(4) Repeated blood pressure (controlled or uncontrolled by medication) reading which exceeds 160 systolic, or 100 diastolic, or which is less than 105 systolic, or 60 diastolic;

(5) Distant visual acuity (without glasses) less than 20/50 Snellen scale in one eye, and 20/70 in the other;

(6) Heart disease;

(7) Hernia;

(8) Absence of a limb or hand; or

(9) Any other condition which the examining physician determines is relevant to the question of whether the miner is fit for rescue team service.

(c) The operator shall have MSHA Form 5000-3 (available at http://www.msha.gov) certifying medical fitness completed and signed by the examining physician for each member of a mine rescue team. These forms shall be kept on file at the mine rescue station for a period of 1 year.

§49.18   Training for mine rescue teams.

(a) Prior to serving on a mine rescue team each member shall complete, at a minimum, an initial 20-hour course of instruction as prescribed by MSHA's Office of Educational Policy and Development, in the use, care, and maintenance of the type of breathing apparatus which will be used by the mine rescue team.

(b) Upon completion of the initial training, all team members shall receive at least 96 hours of refresher training annually, which shall include participation in local mine rescue contests and training at the covered mine. Training shall be given at least 8 hours every 2 months and shall consist of:

(1) Sessions underground at least once each 6 months;

(2) The wearing and use of the breathing apparatus by team members for a period of at least 2 hours while under oxygen every 2 months;

(3) Where applicable, the use, care, capabilities, and limitations of auxiliary mine rescue equipment, or a different breathing apparatus;

(4) Advanced mine rescue training and procedures, as prescribed by MSHA's Office of Educational Policy and Development;

(5) Mine map training and ventilation procedures; and

(6) The wearing of mine rescue apparatus while in smoke, simulated smoke, or an equivalent environment at least once during each 12-month period.

(c) A mine rescue team member will be ineligible to serve on a team if more than 8 hours of training is missed during 1 year, unless additional training is received to make up for the time missed.

(d) The training courses required by this section shall be conducted by instructors who have been employed in an underground mine and have had a minimum of 1 year experience as a mine rescue team member or a mine rescue instructor within the past 5 years, and who have received MSHA approval through:

(1) Completion of an MSHA or State approved instructor's training course and the program of instruction in the subject matter to be taught.

(2) Designation by the District Manager as approved instructors to teach specific courses, based on their qualifications and teaching experience outlined above. Previously approved instructors need not be re-designated to teach the approved courses as long as they have taught those courses within the 24 months prior to the effective date of this part.

(e) The District Manager may revoke an instructor's approval for good cause. A written statement revoking the approval together with reasons for revocation shall be provided the instructor. The affected instructor may appeal the decision of the District Manager by writing to the Administrator for Coal Safety and Health. The Administrator shall issue a decision on the appeal.

(f) Upon request from the District Manager, the operator shall provide information concerning the schedule of upcoming training.

(g) A record of training of each team member shall be on file at the mine rescue station for a period of 1 year.

§49.19   Mine emergency notification plan.

(a) Each underground mine shall have a mine rescue notification plan outlining the procedures to follow in notifying the mine rescue teams when there is an emergency that requires their services.

(b) A copy of the mine rescue notification plan shall be posted at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the plan.

§49.20   Requirements for all coal mines.

(a) The operator of each underground coal mine shall make available two certified mine rescue teams whose members—

(1) Are familiar with the operations of the mine, and

(2) Participate at least annually in two local mine rescue contests.

(b) Team members shall meet the following:

(1) Mine-site team. Members who work at the mine and participate in mine rescue training at the mine at least annually at large mines and at least semi-annually at small mines.

(2) Composite team. A mine rescue team that covers multiple mines and whose members—

(i) Include at least two members from each covered large mine and at least one member from each covered small mine,

(ii) Are knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of each covered underground coal mine, and

(iii) Participate in mine rescue training at each covered mine at least semi-annually.

(3) Contract team. A mine rescue team that is provided by an arrangement with another coal mine or with a third party and whose members—

(i) Are knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of each covered underground coal mine, and

(ii) Participate in mine rescue training at each covered large mine at least quarterly and at each covered small mine at least semi-annually.

(4) State-sponsored team. Members who are state employees and participate in mine rescue training at each covered mine at least annually at large mines and at least semi-annually at small mines.

(c) For the purpose of mine rescue team membership, a member employed by an operator of multiple mines is considered to be an employee of each mine at which the member regularly works.

(d) For the purpose of mine rescue team training at each covered mine, a portion of the training must be conducted underground.

[73 FR 7648, Feb. 8, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 28609, June 17, 2009]

§49.30   Requirements for small coal mines.

At mines with 36 or fewer underground employees, mine rescue team members shall be knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of each covered mine.

§49.40   Requirements for large coal mines.

At mines with more than 36 underground employees, one of the two certified mine rescue teams shall be an individual mine-site team or a composite team.

§49.50   Certification of coal mine rescue teams.

(a) For each mine rescue team designated to provide mine rescue coverage at an underground coal mine, the mine operator shall send the District Manager an annual statement certifying that each team meets the requirements of this subpart as listed in the following Table 49.50-A and Table 49.50-B.

(b) The operator shall notify the District Manager within 60 days of any change in team membership.

Table 49.50-A—Initial Criteria To Certify the Qualifications of Mine Rescue Teams

Qualification Criteria
(30 CFR)
(1) Team is available at all times when miners are underground49.12(a); 49.12(g)
(2) Except where alternative compliance is permitted, team has five members and one alternate49.12(b)
(3) Members have experience working in an underground coal mine49.12(c)
(4) Team is available within 1-hour ground travel time from the mine rescue station to the mine49.12(f)
(5) Appropriate mine rescue equipment is provided, inspected, tested, and maintained49.16
(6) Members are physically fit49.17
(7) Members have completed initial training49.18(a)

Table 49.50-B—Annual Criteria To Maintain Mine Rescue Team Certification

QualificationCriteria
(30 CFR)
(1) Members are properly trained annually49.18(b)
(2) Members are familiar with the operations of each covered mine49.20(a)(1)
(3) Members participate in at least two local mine rescue contests annually. Judges certify results49.20(a)(2)
(4) Members participate in mine rescue training at each covered mine49.20(b)(1); 49.20(b)(2)(iii); 49.20(b)(3)(ii); 49.20(b)(4)
(5) Members are knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of each covered mine49.20(b)(2)(ii); 49.20(b)(3)(i); 49.30

§49.60   Requirements for a local mine rescue contest.

(a) A local mine rescue contest is one that—

(1) Is conducted in the United States;

(2) Uses MSHA-recognized rules;

(3) Has a minimum of three mine rescue teams competing;

(4) Has one or more problems conducted on one or more days with a determined winner;

(5) Includes team members who—

(i) Have the necessary equipment to participate in a simulated mine rescue team exercise,

(ii) Participate in a simulated mine rescue team exercise while being timed and observed by trained judges who evaluate the performance of each team and provide written feedback, and

(iii) Wear oxygen breathing apparatus while participating in a simulated mine rescue team exercise; and

(6) Includes contest judges who have completed annual training for mine rescue contest judges.

(b) A local mine rescue contest is training that provides an objective evaluation of demonstrated mine rescue team skills and can be a Mine Emergency Response Development (MERD) exercise or a practical simulation exercise, such as a fire or explosion drill, where the team participates in simulated mine rescue team exercises and wears breathing apparatus.

(c) Upon request from the District Manager, the operator shall provide information concerning each designated team's schedule of participation in upcoming local mine rescue contests.

Appendix to Subpart B of Part 49—Optional Form for Certifying Mine Rescue Teams

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