DIVISION OF OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
CERTIFICATION OF SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES FOR UNDERGROUND MINES AND
Issue Date: 12/1/93
AUTHORITY: The authority to require that any person who
functions as a Safety Representative in an underground mine or
tunnel pass an examination and be certified by the Division of
Occupational Safety and Health is found in California Labor Code
§§7962, 7998, and 7999, and in Title 8, California Code of
Regulations, §§6967(a) and 8406(f).
POLICY: It is the policy of the Division of Occupational Safety
and Health to examine and certify Safety Representatives by the
Mining and Tunneling Unit to promote the safe operation of
underground mines and tunnels and to ensure that Safety
Representatives possess adequate knowledge and competence in
underground work safety and health.
NOTE: See C-44C for procedures pertaining to the
Certification of Gas Testers for Underground Mines and
CONDITIONS FOR WHICH CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED:
Certification is required for all underground mine and tunnel
NOTE: Underground mine and tunnel operations classified as
"gassy" or "extra hazardous," or operations having 5 of more
employees underground at one time, require a full-time
CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
An applicant for the Safety Representative's examination must
meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
- Possess a minimum of two years of experience in underground
mine or tunnel work related to the type of certification the
- Satisfy the eligibility criteria to obtain a valid
California Gas Tester's Certificate (see C-44C);
- Be able to issue understandable orders, and maintain
required written records;
- Possess adequate knowledge of explosives, basic formulas,
methods, practices, equipment, instruments, personal
protective equipment, engineering controls, management
practices and procedures, and regulations to safely perform
underground operations under conditions which may pose a
threat to an employee's safety and health; and
- Possess adequate knowledge of relevant statutory codes,
standards and regulations pertaining to underground mines
and/or tunnels related to the certification requested.
APPLICATION FOR SAFETY REPRESENTATIVE'S CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION:
- Each applicant for the Safety Representative's Certification
Examination shall complete and submit a Safety
Representative Form prior to scheduling an examination (see
attachment A). Examinations may be scheduled prior to
submission of a completed application at the discretion of
the Senior Safety Engineer Mining and Tunneling (SSEMT).
- Each applicant's eligibility shall be verified by the SSEMT
according to the criteria listed in the Certification
Examination Eligibility Criteria.
- When it is determined by the SSEMT that an applicant is not
qualified to take the Safety Representative's Certification
Examination because of an inability to meet one or more
eligibility criteria, the SSEMT shall notify the applicant
of this determination within 14 days of the decision and
shall request that the applicant contact the SSEMT. A
notation shall be made on the application of the SSEMT's
decision and the date the letter was sent to the
- When contacted by the disqualified applicant, the SSEMT
shall discuss the failed eligibility criteria and suggest
ways the applicant can meet the eligibility criteria. A
note shall be made on the application of this discussion,
and a copy of the letter sent to the disqualified applicant
shall also be attached and forwarded to the Principal Safety
Engineer Mining and Tunneling (Principal Engineer).
NOTE: Training in safety for underground mines and
tunnels is available from the Mining and Tunneling Unit
on an as-needed basis in accordance with Labor Code
§6350 and §6352.
- A determination shall be made of the applicant's
qualifications for Safety Representative's Certification
Examination in the following specialty areas:
- Underground Mining and Tunneling;
- Underground Mining;
- Pipejacking and Boring; and
- Applicants can be advised at the time they submit an
application that, based on their training and/or experience,
a determination may be made by the SSEMT that a "Limited
Safety Representative Certification" shall be issued.
Limited Certifications shall be noted on the application and
the Certification. Limited Certifications include the
- Excluding gassy/extra hazardous classified operations;
- Excluding diesel operations;
- Excluding blasting operations;
- Limited to oxygen deficiency in mines;
- Limited to nongassy/potentially gassy operations;
- Limited to tunnel maintenance operations.
- Each applicant shall pay a $15.00 examination fee in the
form of a check or a money order made out to the State of
California. Attach the examination fee to the application.
- No fee shall be required for applicants applying for
Representative's Certification Examination from the
following exempt agencies:
- Governmental entities, e.g., Federal, State,
County, City or District.
- Public utilities subject to the jurisdiction of
the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
- To obtain a Safety Representative's Certificate, the
applicant shall pass a Certification Examination
developed and administered by the Mining and Tunneling
Unit and composed of two components: written and oral.
The examination shall include questions related to the
type of underground mine and/or tunnel work for which a
certificate is requested.
NOTE: More than one version of the written
component of the Certification Examination shall
be developed and rotated from examinee to
examinee. All Mining and Tunneling Unit personnel
are responsible for ensuring the physical security
of copies of the Safety Representative's
- The examination shall be administered by a SSEMT or by
an Associate Safety Engineer in the Mining and
Tunneling Unit who has been expressly designated by the
Principal Engineer to administer the examination.
NOTE: No examiner shall administer the
Certification Examination in a manner contrary to
P&P A-3, pertaining to activities incompatible
with State service.
- The examination shall only be given at a Mining and
Tunneling Unit Office. In order to give the
examination at another location, approval shall be
obtained, through the Principal Engineer, from the
Deputy Chief for Field Operations.
- Each applicant's identity shall be determined by the
examiner by means of a photograph I.D., such as a valid
Driver's License, prior to beginning the examination.
- Written Examination Component
When administering the written examination, the examiner
- Ensure that the written examination component is
administered in a quiet and secure area to ensure that
the integrity of the examination process is not
- Assemble the appropriate sections of the written
examination component and instruct the applicant to
write his or her name on the first page of each
- Give appropriate instructions to the applicant for
completing the examination and instruct the applicant
that calculators, reference books, or other
instructional aids are not allowed in the examination
- Allow the applicant enough time to complete the
examination, but in no case, more than four hours.
- Correct the examination by use of the key developed for
the administered examination.
- Indicate on the front page of the examination the
percentage (from 0 to 100%) of the questions
successfully answered by the applicant. An overall
score of at least 70% is required to pass the written
component of the examination. If a score of at least
70% is not achieved, the applicant has failed the
examination. Applicants who fail the written component
of the examination shall not be allowed to take the
oral component of the Certification Examination.
NOTE: See CERTIFICATION ISSUANCE AND DOCUMENTATION for further guidance on applicants who fail to
pass the written component.
- Oral Examination Component
Applicants who achieve at least an overall score of 70% on
the written examination are permitted to take the oral
The examiner shall upon successful completion of the written
- Discuss with applicant the questions which the
applicant answered incorrectly. Listen carefully to
the applicant's rationale for answering the question as
the applicant did, and pursue other relative lines of
questioning to determine the applicant's understanding
of the equipment, techniques, purpose and procedures,
and how their explanation relates to testing
underground environments for hazardous and explosive
- Discuss with the applicant the questions which the
applicant answered correctly to determine the scope of
the applicant's knowledge. Pursue and discuss other
relative lines of questioning relative to each
- Continue the oral examination by the use of oral
examination questions developed for this purpose (see
SSEMT). Ask the applicant to respond to hypothetical
situations or simulated instrument readings based on
the subject areas appropriate for the industry and
scope of the Safety Representative's Certificate being
- Determine a "Pass" or "Fail" grade for the oral
examination of the Certification Examination and
thoroughly document the reasoning for the grade.
NOTE: See CERTIFICATION ISSUANCE AND DOCUMENTATIONfor further guidance on applicants who fail to
pass the oral component.
CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE AND DOCUMENTATION:
- For Applicants Who Pass the Certification Examination
The examiner shall:
- Complete the Safety Representative's Evaluation Form
including the examiner's name and the date. (See
- Indicate the "Type of Certificate" on the application
based on the written and oral examination results.
- Give the Applicant the original (white) receipt copy
after the examination fee is received. Fill out the
Applicant's name as it will appear on the certificate,
determine the correct mailing address, and list the
appropriate wording for the Safety Representative's
Certificate. Indicate that the receipt shall act as
their temporary certificate, and the permanent
certificate should be received in approximately 30 days
pending review of the examination results and approval
by the Principal Engineer.
- Where an employer or other person issues a check or
money order to pay for the examination fee of more than
one applicant, each applicant shall receive an
individual receipt to act as a "Temporary Certificate."
- Forward the following documents to the Principal
Engineer, through the SSEMT:
- All parts of the examination including those
- Fee paid and the yellow and blue copies of the
- Application, Evaluation Sheet, surrendered
license, and any additional documentation or
- Each Safety Representative's Certificate issued by the
Division shall be valid for a period of five years.
After five years, the Safety Representative Certificate
Holder must reapply for a certificate and pass both the
written and oral components of the Certification
- For Applicants Who Fail the Certification Examination
If an applicant fails the Certification Examination,
indicate their name, address, and "Safety Representative's
Examination -- Failed" on the receipt. Explain to the
applicant that the applicant must wait a minimum of three
months before he or she may retake the Certification
Examination. If the applicant retakes the Certification
Examination within six months from the date of the failed
examination, the examination fee shall be waived.
- Renewal and Upgrading Certification
Application and examination for a renewal or upgraded
Certificate shall be administered in the same manner as the
Follow the office procedures in P&P C-44 under "Clerical
Procedures for Issuance of Blaster's License."
A --Cal/OSHA 44B-1
B --Cal/OSHA 44B-2