Mine Safety and Health Training - Surface Mining

Mine Safety and Health Training - Surface Mining

Areas of Study: Health and Safety

Qualifies for Certification

This is a training course for all mine personnel involved in surface mining and quarrying. The course material was developed originally for the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and is compliant with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulations.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Technical
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 4 hours

Course Summary


This is a training course for all mine personnel involved in surface mining and quarrying.

The course is an overview of the major safety issues pertaining to surface mines and quarries. It is meant to introduce hazards rather than provide in-depth safety training on the many hazards present on a mine site. Because every operation is different, you may not encounter all of the situations presented. There may be others that are specific to your mine that are not included here. If so, you should be made aware of these through training and/or working with an experienced mentor. Your mine is required to provide the training and equipment necessary to keep you as safe as possible while working on the property. It is up to you to learn this information, and to use it.

The video clips used in this training are taken from the NIOSH video "Aggregate Training for the Safety Impaired: Safety Training for Everyone Else". Although the hazards associated with surface mining are presented in a humorous fashion, each of the safety issues presented should be given serious attention. You will watch two new hires, Ted and Slick, who do not take safety seriously, and who suffer the consequences. They learn some valuable lessons from older, wiser miners, on how to keep themselves safe on the job. Your safety is no laughing matter…this training should be used to keep you out of harm's way while you learn how to be a safe, productive worker.

While the mandates of the mining regulatory agencies are law in the US, they are also comprehensive enough to be considered best practice for mining in countries throughout the world.

The author is a Certified Mine Safety Professional as well as an MSHA Certified Instructor for both surface and underground. This course material was developed originally for the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and is compliant with MSHA regulations.


This course is presented as four learning sessions, using video, text and image content, and an interactive review session of randomly-selected multiple-choice questions. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 4 hours of learning content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss specific hazards associated with surface mining and quarrying.
  • Identify potentially hazardous situations associated with surface mining and quarrying.
  • Practice appropriate behavior around transportation and moving equipment.
  • Discuss specific hazards associated with electrical cables and equipment.

Recommended Background

  • High school science.

Elaine T. Cullen, MBA, PhD, CMSP

Dr. Elaine Cullen has extensive experience in the high-risk industries including mining, oil and gas production, and commercial fishing. She served her country for 38 years as a safety researcher for both the US Bureau of Mines and for NIOSH, where her primary interest was in studying occupational cultures in order to develop safety training that is truly effective.

She is the President of Prima Consulting Services, providing consulting services in leadership and training development since 2007. She is the author of numerous publications and products, but is most proud of the many safety training videos she has created for high-risk industries, such as You Are My Sunshine, a documentary on the Sunshine Mine Fire that has been used all over the world and Move It! Rig Move Safety for Roughnecks, a video developed for the oil and gas fields.

Dr. Cullen has won NIOSH's Alice Hamilton Award (3 times) and also has a NIOSH Bullard-Sherwood Award, a CDC Roundtable Award, a Telly Award, the ISMSP Guiding Light Award and the Highest Degree of Safety Award, and was named one of the 100 Women in Safety by ASSE. In 2015 she was named the ASSE Safety Professional of the Year for Mining.

Elaine has worked internationally in South Africa, Australia, Papua, and Canada, and also worked with the University of Texas on the India Modernization Project to provide safety and health training to mining engineers from India. She served for 6 years on the National Academies of Science Committee on Earth Resources, and co-chaired the NAS study on Workforce Issues in Energy and Extractive Industries. She has just released a new documentary on the Wilberg Mine Fire, called Remember Wilberg, and co-created a 2-day Leadership Development course for First Line Mining Supervisors, which she has been presenting throughout the West under a grant from NIOSH to the University of Texas at Arlington.

Trudy Gallinger MA.Ed, Curriculum Development

Trudy Gallinger has been the Director of Curriculum Development for Prima Consulting Services for the past nine years. She holds Bachelors and Graduate degrees in education and curriculum development from Eastern Washington University, and has taught for 24 years both in the classroom and online. She is the co-developer of seven online Safety and Hazard Training modules for Edumine.