Mine Safety & Health


The Montana Safety and Health Bureau provides scheduled mine safety training only.

To register for classes, you must click on the class that you wish to attend, and to complete the registration process you must notify the instructor listed (contact information is included with the class registration form).

Note: The instructor will review your 5000-23 at the beginning of class. You must provide a previous 5000-23 for a completed (8 hours) Surface Annual Refresher Class or your completed (24 Hours) Surface New Miner 5000-23.

If you are an experienced miner and your 5000-23 is older than 5 years, you will have to retake the New Miner Training. If you are an inexperienced miner and your 5000-23 is older than 3 years, you will have to take the New Miner Training.

If you have an Online New Miner Training certificate, please contact the Denver District MSHA office at (303) 231-5469 prior to class. The District Office will need to verify that your New Miner training is acceptable. Please bring the written verification for the online training from MSHA to the refresher class.

Training Materials

You can download the materials for the mine training classes by scanning this QR Code or by selecting this link.

The Mine Section will provide the following scheduled training by certified MSHA instructors:

  • Annual refresher and new miner training for surface, underground, metal-nonmetal, and coal operations
  • First aid training for miners, as required by the MSHA training plan will be performed at SafetyFests held throughout the state.

The Montana Safety and Health Bureau's Mine Section is no longer offering the Surface or Underground Foreman Exam. Those interested in obtaining this designation must contact Peter Saint in the MSHA Denver Office at (303) 231-5458.

 *Please note:  Users have been having difficulty viewing the most current training schedule. If you believe you are having this issue, please clear your browser cache and refresh this page.

  • Classes are offered in conjunction with SafetyFestMT. Please see the Agenda for the SafetyFest near you.

    The Montana Department of Labor and Industry's Safety and Health Bureau offers instructor classes to individuals seeking to becoming a certified MSHA instructor. This course is an important step in becoming an effective mine trainer and is designed to do just that. Taught by a MSHA designated instructor, the class meets the requirements of 30 CFR 48.3 h1.

    All prospective instructors must be pre-approved by the MSHA District Manager. Click on this link to review the revised criteria to become an instructor.

    Click on this link for the Instructor Application form.

    Regional Administrator:

    • Brian Goepfert                (303) - 231 - 5815          goepfert.brian@dol.gov

    District Manager:

    • Dustan W. Crelly            (303) - 231 - 5468         crelly.dustan@dol.gov

    For questions about the MSHA Coal Foreman Exam please contact Peter Saint (MSHA Denver District Office) at (303) 231-5572 or saint.peter@dol.gov

    For more information regarding Part 48 Instructor Training please contact the Rocky Mountain District.

    The following information from the MSHA standards may help in understanding the process: 30 CFR 48.3

    (h) Instructors shall be approved by the District Manager in one or more of the following ways:

    • Instructors shall take an instructor's training course conducted by the District Manager or given by persons designated by the District Manager to give such instruction; and instructors shall have satisfactorily completed a program of instruction approved by the Office of Educational Policy and Development, MSHA, in the subject matter to be taught.
    • Instructors may be designated by MSHA as approved instructors to teach specific courses based on written evidence of the instructor's qualifications and teaching experience.
    • At the discretion of the District Manager, instructors may be designated by MSHA as approved instructors to teach specific courses based on performance of the instructors while teaching classes monitored by MSHA. Operators shall indicate in the training plans submitted for approval whether they want to have instructors approved on monitored performance. The District Manager shall consider such factors as the size of the mine, the number of employees, the mine safety record and remoteness from a training facility when determining whether instructor approval based on monitored performance.
  • Part 46 training will be provided by the Mine Section in conjunction with our Part 48 training plan. We have worked cooperatively with MSHA to develop the following crosswalk to teach Part 46 & 48 classes together.

    An operator will be responsible for assuring their Part 46 Training Plan mirrors the State of Montana MSHA Part 48 training plan (subjects and times). the operator is also responsible to update their plan to reflect our Staff as a competent person for either annual refresher and/or new miner training.

    We will provide 20 of the 24 hours of New Miner training and 7.5 or the 8 hours of Annual Refresher Training at our centralized training locations. The operator's competent person will be required to complete the remaining hours and mandatory mine site subjects. Once completed, the person dedicated by the mine operator that is in charge of safety & health will sign the certificates as completed.

    Part 46 was designed to be done by the operator. For assistance implementing your own Part 46 training see the list of resources below, and here is the Crosswalk of Part 46 through Part 48 Training,


  • The Montana Safety and Health Bureau Mine Section, under Montana Public Law 50-73-101 MCA (The Montana Coal Mine Safety Act), is responsible for workplace safety and health compliance in coal mines and sand and gravel operations.

    How we can help:

    • Assist mine operators in mine safety training plan development
    • Partner with contractors to ensure Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Compliance
    • Work with multiple county, state and federal agencies to assist in accident investigations and safety
  • Current Montana Coal Tonnage Report

    This monthly report provides information on each Montana coal mine's output. 

  • Unit Supervisor
    Jake Sandau                    jsandau@mt.gov              406-444-6595

    Administrative Support
    Lana Cooper                  lacooper@mt.gov             406-444-6401

    Mine Inspectors/Training Officers
    Gordon Brannon           gbrannon2@mt.gov          406-461-0152
    Jim Burrows                   jburrows@mt.gov             406-444-6526 or 406-594-1403 (mobile)

  • Gordon Brannon - Colstrip
    Gordon lives in Colstrip, Montana and is married and has three sons and two Granddaughters. His hobbies include painting, outdoors, and restoring old cars.

    He has been with the state in this position since 1/15/07. He is a Certified Mine Safety Professional and has his surface and underground training designations from MSHA. He has his Coal Mine Foreman Papers from Colorado and Montana. He is also a certified trainer by Medic First Aid in CPR/First Aid and AED. Gordon is currently an EMT-I (Nationally and State certified).

    Prior to joining the State of Montana he retired from Peabody Energy Company (largest coal company in the US) with 33 years of service in management and worked in numerous positions in the coal mining field and worked and trained at all their operations thru the years. While living in Colstrip, he worked on the county and private ambulance service for 29 years.

    He operated his own safety, environmental, and security consulting business for two years and had training plans with MSHA in Underground and Surface and worked at Craig, Colorado.· Also he worked with MESCO and constructed and repaired large draglines and shovels in West Palm Beach, Florida.

    Gordon brings both a bachelors of science (Environmental and Safety Management) and masters’ degree (Environmental Safety Management) to the Safety and Health Bureau and has taken many other engineering classes from other universities.

    James (Jim) Burrows- Helena  
    Jim Is a native Montanan born in Missoula, he moved around a lot in his young years settling back home in the late 70’s where he went to work for a local construction company (LS Jensen) where he worked for 22 years until Jensen sold the business to Oldcastle materials, at that time Jim went into the safety field where he spent the next 10 years as a safety manager! He earned his Construction Health Safety Technician and Certified Mine Safety Professional designations. He is an authorized OSHA Outreach Construction and General Industry trainer. Jim is also a certified Medic First Aid /CPR /AED instructor.

    Jim enjoys spending time with his wife of over 30 years! He likes working in the yard and enjoys camping and spending time outdoors in the beauty that Montana offers.
Back To Top