MSHA retools outlines for mine rescue crews

WITH the end of the Christmas holiday came big changes to the criteria used by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration for the certification and instruction of coal mine rescue teams nationwide.

Donna Schmidt

In a notice published on December 27 in the Federal Register, MSHA updated the instruction guidelines for the training of advanced mine rescue crews as part of a mandate in the Miner Act 2006, which requires amendments every five years.

MSHA first published a draft of the criteria in late September, opening up the floor to the public for comments on the changes, which were evaluated in the outlines’ development.

Under federal guidelines within 30 CFR 49.50, mine operators must certify team qualifications annually, including that respective team members are properly trained every year.

MSHA has updated the prescribed instruction guides to provide improved advanced mine rescue training for coal mine rescue teams, which can be found in Instruction Guide IG7

“Advanced Mine Rescue Training – Coal Mines”

The document still includes best practices, handouts, visuals and classroom text materials.

A new Instruction Guide, IG7a or “Advanced Skills Training (AST) – Activities for Coal Mine Rescue Teams”, also includes activities and exercises moved from existing Instruction Guide IG7 as well as additional exercises to provide more hands-on skills training to improve team performance when responding to a mine emergency.

The notice and instruction guides can be found at