What Are the ANSI/ASSP Z690 Risk Management Standards?

ASSP Z640 Risk Management Standards Image

The ANSI/ASSP Z690 Risk Management Standards are the US national standards for applying risk management for occupational safety and health.

They are the US adoption of the ISO 31000 Risk Management Standards, in case you wondered.

If you’d like to learn more, continue reading, because we’re going to give a 100-level introduction to the Z690 standards as part of a longer series of articles explaining Z690 and discussing the use of risk management for occupational safety and health.

And by the way, we’ve included a free guide to using risk-based approaches for occupational safety and health management at the bottom of this article.


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Mining Safety Training and Hazard Identification: An Interview with NIOSH Mining

Mining Hazard Identification Training Image

Hazard identification is important at any work site with hazards. And so that’s true in the world of mining as well, obviously.

But are people born with an expert-ability to identify hazards? They are not. And so it makes sense to provide training to help people learn to spot hazards on the job.

Which brings us to the next obvious question: how do you teach people to identify hazards? It may seem simple and easy at first, but give it a little thought and you’ll probably agree it’s not such an obvious question.

We’re going to look at that issue in a little more detail in a future article, but for now we want to focus on one part of the training you can give to teach people to recognize hazards: let them practice identifying hazards in a realistic simulated environment.

In this interview, Brianna Eiter of NIOSH Mining explains their new EXAMiner hazard identification computer-based training tool to provide practice identifying hazards. And while it’s designed to help with hazard identification in a mining environment, one cool feature of EXAMiner is that you can easily customize it to match your own workplace and the hazards there–so it can be used in an industry and for any work area.

So let’s start learning from Brianna about this cool new training tool for hazard identification. We’ve got the video of the conversation immediately below. If you’d prefer to read, we also typed up the transcript, so just click the MORE button and start reading if you like it that way.


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Mining, Ergonomics & MSDs: An Interview with Jonisha Pollard of NIOSH Mining

Mining Ergonomics Image

At the most recent MSHA TRAM (Training Resources Applied to Mining) conference, I caught a good presentation by Jonisha Pollard covering ergonomic risk factors in mining that lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). I learned much, and figured it would be great information to share here and also realized there would be no one better to share the information (and her expertise) than Ms. Pollard.

I’m happy to say that we were lucky enough to get Ms. Pollard to come talk to us about mining, ergonomics, and MSDs as well as quite a bit about NIOSH Mining in general and some other NIOSH Mining projects. In the interview, which we’ve included below in both written and video formats, Ms. Pollard also tells us where to find a bunch of helpful information, mobile phone apps, and even interactive web-based tools that NIOSH Mining has created to help create safer work conditions for miners in mines throughout the US. If you’re in mining, we think you’ll enjoy and learn from this interview as well as all the resources NIOSH Mining has to offer.

Before we begin, we’d like to thank Jonisha Pollard in particular for her time, knowledge, and expertise, and NIOSH Mining in general for all the good work, including their research on mining safety issues and all the great mining safety information and tools they’re providing.

You can watch & listen to the recorded discussion below. We’ve also typed it all up for you if you’d prefer to read–just click the MORE button if that’s the case.¬†


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Who Is the “Person Responsible for Safety and Health Training” for MSHA Part 46?

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In MSHA’s Part 46, the regulation specifies a number of specific roles. One of those roles is the “Person Responsible for Safety and Health Training.”

It’s not always obvious what that means, even in a simple case when a mine operator is providing mining safety training for Part 46 compliance to employees who are full-time employees at the mine.

And that can get even more confusing if a person is completing training online, or if the person taking the training doesn’t work as a normal employee of the mine but instead is working there as a contractor.

So, we’ll give you the low-down on what (and who) the “Person Responsible for Safety and Health Training” is in all these various circumstances.


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Come See Us at the MSHA-TRAM Conference

MSHA TRAM Conference 2018 Image

One of our favorite conferences to attend is the MSHA Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) conference in Beaver, West Virginia. There’s an undeniable charm to the Mining Academy, everyone on the MSHA staff is super-friendly and helpful, West Virginia is very pretty at that time of year, and conference attendees are excited to gather and learn.

And so we’re excited to announce that we’ll be at TRAM again this year (October 9-11) and that we’ll be both presenting and exhibiting.

First, here’s what we’ll be doing in terms of presenting. Senior Learning & Development Specialist Jeff Dalto will be facilitating discussions during three different (!) presentations:

  1. Effective Safety Training: A discussion-intensive presentation with many hands-on, written exercises introducing the ANSI/ASSP Z490.1 standard for EHS training and going into more details on four key topics: learning objectives, blended learning training delivery, credible information and evidence-based instructional design, and training evaluation and continual improvement. See this recorded, on-demand webinar for an introduction to some of these topics.
  2. Evaluating Online Safety Training Solutions: An introduction to the terms, concepts, jargon, and acronyms used when discussing online safety training and specific sets of criteria for evaluating online safety training courses, safety training management systems, and online safety training providers. See this recorded, on-demand webinar for an introduction to some of these topics.
  3. Safety and the Learning Organization: A look at fields of thought related to (1) learning organizations and (2) safety differently/new safety/safety 2/human and organizational performance and how safety managers can help contribute to their organization’s efforts to be a learning organization. The discussion will include 21 tips for implementation, and will touch on lean manufacturing, risk management, design thinking, systems thinking, and much more.

And second, we’ll also be exhibiting the safety and safety training solutions that we make for mining safety and MSHA Part 46 compliance as well as general safety. Just swing by our booth and learn more. In particular, we’ll be showing off our:

Here’s a short example of the kind of online mining safety courses we’ll be demonstrating:

And here’s a quick explanation of our MSHA LMS for Part 46 documentation, recordkeeping, and compliance.

Come meet us and say hi and let’s get to know one another. We’d love to find out how we can help you make your workplace safer, healthier, and more efficient.

Before you go, feel free to download our free Guide to MSHA Online Training, too.


Online MSHA Compliance Guide

Download our free guide to learn how online tools can help you create safer work conditions at a mine site, stay compliant with MSHA Part 46 regulations, and manage your training program more efficiently.

Download Free Guide


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Do Contract Construction Workers at Surface Mines Need All 24 Hours of MSHA Part 46 Training?

Consider this hypothetical situation:

You’re a construction worker, you’re preparing to work as a contractor at a surface mine covered by the MSHA Part 46 training regulations, and you’ll be building a structure (not at all what comes to your mind when you think of surface mining).¬†

Got that? If you’re still reading, we think that’s because this isn’t such a hypothetical situation to you at all, and maybe it directly relates to something you’ll be doing soon.

So the question is this: Do you have to take all 24 hours of the mandatory MSHA Part 46 New Miner training?

We answer that question in this article. So read on.


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Equipment You’ll Find at a Typical Surface Mine

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The typical surface mine (quarry) has lots of specialized equipment, and each piece has a name that new miners may not be familiar with.

To help you get up to speed fast, we’ve provided a list of common surface mining equipment, along with images and explanations of the equipment’s function and operation.

Not only did we write all the terms down for you below, but we’re also presenting the same information in an interactive, multimedia glossary that you can download for free.

And we through in some tips if you need some MSHA Part 46 Surface Mining training. What’s not to like about all of that?

All of the terms, definitions, and images in this article come from our online MSHA Part 46 “Typical Equipment in a Surface Mine” training course. We’ve included a short sample of that online mining safety course below.


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Physical Characteristics at a Surface Mine Explained

Surface Mining Physical Features Explained Image

If you’re new at a surface mine, you’ll notice there’s a lot of specialized language: berm, highwall, pit, and more. If all that lingo has got you longing for understanding, this article is for you. We’re going to explain the terms typically used to describe the physical characteristics in a surface mine.

If you find this helpful, know that you can also download an interactive, multimedia glossary with these terms, definitions, and images, and also know that we’re working on a similar list of definitions (plus another downloadable, interactive glossary) about the typical equipment found at a surface mine as well.

So let’s get right to explaining what all those benches and berms are. You’ll be interested to know that all the terms, definitions, and images came from our online MSHA Part 46 Physical Characteristics of a Surface Mine Training course–we’ve given a short video sample immediately below, too.


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Who Is the Competent Person for Online MSHA Part 46 Training? (How to Get It Right!)

MSHA requires a “competent person” for all MSHA Part 46 training at surface mines. You probably know that, and our What Is a MSHA Part 46 Competent Person? article¬†explains that general requirement in more detail if you’re interested.

But what about when a miner completes ONLINE TRAINING for their MSHA Part 46 training requirement? Who’s the competent person then?

And does that answer, about who’s the competent person, differ in various training scenarios? For example, is the answer different if you’re a surface miner who works for a big surface mining company and who completes online training at the worksite than if you’re an independent contractor preparing to come in to work at a surface mine where you’re not a full-time employee?

We’ll answer those questions for you in the article below.


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Additional Mining Safety Training Topics for MSHA Part 46’s Annual Refresher Training Program–30 CFR 46.8(c)

MSHA Part 46 mandates safety training requirements at surface mines. For more specifics about that, please read our What Is MSHA Part 46? article (a quick side-note: we’ll include a lot of other helpful links to MSHA Part 46-related materials at the end of this article).

Within Part 46, MSHA requires different types of mining safety training to be delivered to different types of miners and employees and at different times. MSHA and Part 46 call these requirements¬†“training programs,” and here are the ones MSHA lists:

  • New Miner Training (46.5)
  • Newly Hired Experience Miner Training (46.6)
  • New Task Training (46.7)
  • Annual Refresher Training (46.8)
  • Site-Specific Hazard Awareness Training (46.11)

It’s the Part 46 Annual Refresher Training Program for surface miners that we’re going to look at more closely in this article.

In 46.8, the regulation states that the annual refresher safety training must include¬†“instruction on changes at the mine that could adversely affect the miner’s health or safety.” In addition to that, however, the regulation says that “refresher training must also address other health and safety subjects that are relevant to mining operations at the mine.”

Although MSHA doesn’t require specific training topics for those “other health and safety subjects…relevant to mining operations at the mine,” they do provide a list of suggestions or possibilities.

This article will provide more details about those suggestions from MSHA for additional training to include in the Part 46 Annual Refresher Training Program in addition to changes at the mine.

As we give suggestions below, we’ll include some samples of online training for each topic. These samples are drawn from the online MSHA training courses offered by Convergence Training. A short sample highlight video is below.

If you’re interested, we’ve¬†got a single web page where you can purchase, view, and complete the courses that are sampled above and that we’re showing below for MSHA Part 46 Annual Refresher Training and MSHA Part 46 New Miner Training.


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Come See Us at the Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference, November 1-3, 2017, Birmingham, AL

If you’re going to be at the Southeast Mine Safety & Health Conference in lovely Birmingham, Alabama this week, we invite you to come to our booth, say hello, and learn about our solutions for mining safety training and MSHA Part 46 compliance.

We’re in Booth 23 and would love to meet you.

While we’re there, we’ll be showing our award-winning solutions for mining safety training. Which awards, you ask? How about these for starters:

Not bad, huh?

For more information, check out these links:

The short video below explains our MSHA Part 46 compliance solution, including online courses and an LMS for managing training and creating all Part 46-required documentation, in more detail.

See you in Birmingham! And don’t forget to download the free guide below, too.


Online MSHA Compliance Guide

Download our free guide to learn how online tools can help you create safer work conditions at a mine site, stay compliant with MSHA Part 46 regulations, and manage your training program more efficiently.

Download Free Guide


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MSHA TRAM 2017: A Look Back


We’re just back from the¬†2017 MSHA TRAM conference¬†at the National Mine and Health Safety Academy in Beaver, WV and thought we’d give an overview of some of the presentations we attended and some of the things we learned.

We also figured we’d show you some pictures of our trip–not everyone gets out to West Virginia or the Mine and Health Safety Academy every day (or ever).

While we were there we gave two presentations of our own: one on Evaluating Online Safety Training Solutions for Mining, and a second on Current and Future Training Technologies. We’d like to thank those who attended those sessions and helped to contribute to the discussion in each. Those links in this paragraph provide some more related information about each of those presentations, including a related recorded on-demand webinar, helpful links, and free downloadable guides.

Below, we’ll tell you more about some of the other presentations we attended.


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