Frequently Asked Questions

The Division of Labor Standards (DLS) determines and enforces Missouri’s Prevailing Wage and administers and enforces child labor and the minimum wage laws. The DLS also helps protect Missouri workers by inspecting the state’s mine and cave sites, certifying and auditing safety consultants, engineers, and programs used by employers, and offering safety and health consultations to help employers identify and remedy workplace hazards.

Wages, Hours and Dismissal Rights
Minimum Wage
Prevailing Wage
Youth Employment
On-Site Safety and Health Consultation
Mine and Cave Safety

Wages, Hours and Dismissal Rights

Can an employer pay an individual under 20 years of age less than the applicable minimum wage rate?

Section 290.517, RSMo and 8 CSR 30-4.060(6) both require a hearing addressing the specific exception requested before a training wage lower than the applicable minimum wage rate may be paid for learners or apprentices. Accordingly, until such time that a hearing may be held and a regulation issued allowing for a reduced wage, covered nonexempt employees need to be paid the applicable minimum wage rate. You can access the minimum wage law and rules at http://www.moga.mo.gov/STATUTES/C290.HTM and http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/8csr/8c30-4.pdf.

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Are breaks or lunch periods required?

There are no state laws regarding breaks or lunch periods. These issues might be addressed by company policy, or could be covered by union contract.

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Are benefits such as vacation, sick leave, and health insurance required?

Missouri has no law requiring paid vacations for private sector employment. This is an issue that must be addressed by the employee with his or her employer. The state of Missouri does not have a law that requires private sector employers to offer any type of fringe benefit, such as insurance or sick leave.

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If an employee is terminated when are his or her final wages due?

Wages are due at the time of termination. If not paid at that time, the employee should contact his or her former employer by certified mail return receipt requested, requesting wages that are due. The employer has seven days to respond to the written request. If the employer does not respond in seven days, because the state of Missouri does not have authority to collect wages for any individual, any moneys due would have to be collected by private legal action. If the amount due in back wages is less than $5,000, workers may file their claim in small claims court, where costs are less and it is easier to proceed without hiring private legal counsel. Individuals attempting to recover amounts above $5,000 should pursue a private right of action in circuit court. (See Chapter 290.110, RSMo)

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If an employee quits his job, when are the final wages due to him?

There are no requirements under Missouri law that address when wages are due when an employee quits a job. If wages are not paid by the next regular pay period, then the wages can be collected by legal action. If the amount due in back wages is less than $5,000, workers may file their claim in small claims court, where costs are less and it is easier to proceed without hiring private legal counsel. Individuals attempting to recover amounts above $5,000 should pursue a private right of action in circuit court.

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What does an employee need to do to request a "Letter of Dismissal"?

If you worked for a corporation for more than 90 days and it had seven or more employees, you would be entitled, under § 290.140, RSMo, to a Letter of Dismissal setting out the type of work you performed, how long you worked for the corporation, and truly stating the reason you were discharged. In order to obtain the Letter of Dismissal, you must send a written request for it by certified mail to the superintendent, manager, or registered agent of the corporation, with specific reference to § 290.140. The superintendent or manager of the corporation must then issue a Letter of Dismissal to you within forty-five days after the receipt of the request. If the corporation does not comply with this statue, you may file a private suit in court for damages.

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Does an employer have to furnish employees with a statement of deductions?

At least once a month, an employer is required to furnish employees a statement of deductions as part of a check or in a separate document. If an employee does not receive a statement of deductions, private legal action would need to be taken.

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Can an employer require its employees to work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours per week?

There are no Missouri laws which restrict the number of hours an employer can require an employee to work. If the employee refuses to work the requested hours, the employer can terminate the employee without violating any laws. Most employers, however, must pay their employees time and one-half for any hours over 40 hours in a workweek. (See Chapter 290.505, RSMo)

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Can an employer reduce the wages of its employees?

An employer can reduce an employee′s wages without violating any law. However, an employer subject to the Missouri Minimum Wage Law or the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may not reduce an employee′s wages below the federal minimum or state minimum wage (whichever is higher). Missouri law does require employers to give their employees written notice of a reduction of wages at least 30 days before the reduction is to take effect. (See Chapter 290.100, RSMo). If an employer fails to give the appropriate notice, it is liable to each affected employee in the amount of fifty dollars. If the employer does not voluntarily pay the fifty dollars, the employee may recover it by filing a private lawsuit in court.

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Is an employee required to give his/her employer two weeks notice when quitting a job?

No. Missouri follows the "Employment-At-Will" Doctrine, which does not require any notice. State laws provide no requirement for notice from or for employers.

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What is the minimum wage?

The state minimum wage increased to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2014. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The Missouri Minimum Wage and Overtime Law, sections 290.500 to 290.530, RSMo, is enforced by the state. The Division of Labor Standards will investigate complaints of non-compliance of the state minimum wage law.

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When will it be determined if the state minimum wage will increase or decrease?

Section 290.502.2, RSMo, provides that the minimum wage shall be increased or decreased each year based on changes in the cost of living. On September 30 of each year, the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is to determine the increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor (from July of the previous year to July of the current year) and adjust the minimum wage accordingly (rounded to the nearest five cents). The minimum wage as adjusted will become effective on the following January 1. A notice will be posted on the Department′s web site as soon as any change has been determined. Under the statute, Missouri′s minimum wage cannot be reduced below the federal minimum wage.

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When does overtime come into effect?

Overtime is based on a 40 hour workweek, not an 8 hour day. Missouri′s Minimum Wage Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) require most employers to pay their employees one and one-half times their regular rate of wages for hours over 40 in a workweek (See RSMo Chapter 290.505).

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Minimum Wage

What is the minimum wage rate in Missouri?

The current Missouri Minimum Wage rate is $7.50 per hour.

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Can an employer pay an individual under 20 years of age less than the applicable minimum wage rate?

Section 290.517, RSMo and 8 CSR 30-4.060(6) both require a hearing addressing the specific exception requested before a training wage lower than the applicable minimum wage rate may be paid for learners or apprentices. Accordingly, until such time that a hearing may be held and a regulation issued allowing for a reduced wage, covered nonexempt employees need to be paid the applicable minimum wage rate. You can access the minimum wage law and rules at http://www.moga.mo.gov/STATUTES/C290.HTM and http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/8csr/8c30-4.pdf.

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What amount must an employer pay a tipped employee?

Compensation for a tipped employee must total at least the minimum wage rate which currently is $7.50 per hour. Employers subject to the provisions of the law are required to pay tipped employees at least 50 percent of the minimum wage of $7.50, or $3.75 per hour. Employers of tipped employees must pay more than 50 percent of the minimum wage rate to tipped employees if it is necessary to bring the employee′s total compensation up to at least the minimum wage rate per hour. In other words, the employer is required to make up any difference between the minimum wage amount and the actual base wage and tips received by the employee.

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What amount must an employer pay a tipped employee for hours worked over 40 in a workweek?

"Time and one-half" is the minimum wage ($7.50) plus one-half of the minimum wage ($3.75), resulting in a total overtime wage of at least $11.25 per hour. Section 290.512.1, RSMo, and the state Labor Department's regulation 8 CSR 30-4.020(1) allows an employer to apply a tip credit up to 50 percent ($3.75) of the minimum wage of $7.50 per hour. This tip credit, however, does not increase for overtime hours. The maximum tip credit employers may take on the wage rates they pay tipped employees is still 50 percent of the minimum wage rate ($3.75) for both hours worked up to and over 40 in a workweek. Thus, employers must pay tipped employees at least $11.25 per hour for their overtime hours. But, if the employee does not earn at least $3.75 per hour in tips for the overtime hours, the employer must make up the difference between the actual amount earned per hour by the employee in wages and tips and $11.25.

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Is there any exemption for the small business employer so I will not have to pay the Minimum Wage?

The only exemption that applies is for a retail or service business whose annual gross sales made or business done is less than $500,000.

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Where can I get additional information regarding the law changes?

If you cannot find a particular answer on this Web site, e-mail us your question or call the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

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Do employers have to post a Minimum Wage poster in the workplace?

All employers subject to any provisions of the law shall post a summary of the law and regulations. The Division of Labor Standards has created a summary to post for the convenience of Missouri employers. You also may print a Spanish Minimum Wage Summary Poster. Please post the summary in a conspicuous and accessible place at the business.

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I make $7.75 per hour now. When the Missouri Minimum Wage increased to $7.50 and my employer raised other people to $7.50, should I have gotten a raise also?

That is not required by law.

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Does the Missouri Minimum Wage affect salaried employees?

The Missouri Minimum Wage Law could apply if a salaried employee does not fall within any of the exemptions in the law and his or her salary does not equal the minimum wage rate per hour for all hours worked in a workweek.

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If the federal minimum wage is less than Missouri′s minimum wage, what will happen if I decide to pay only the lower federal rate?

You will be in violation of the law. If the Missouri Division of Labor Standards receives a complaint or becomes aware of a situation where an employer, who is covered by the law, is not paying the Missouri minimum wage, the office will conduct an investigation to assure compliance.

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What can I do if I believe I am not being paid the minimum wage rate and/or overtime rate?

If you believe you are not being paid correctly, you can contact the Missouri Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403 or minimumwage@labor.mo.gov to file a complaint.

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If it is determined that I was not paid minimum wage rate and/or overtime rate, what steps will be taken to collect wages due me?

The Division of Labor Standards will conduct an investigation to assure compliance with the minimum wage law. If it is determined that wages are due, we will attempt to collect on your behalf. However, Missouri does not have a wage collection law. Therefore, no state agency, including the Division of Labor Standards, has authority to pursue your claim for back wages for you through the courts. In instances where it is determined that wages are due, and we are unable to collect on your behalf, you will be notified of your right to bring a legal action to collect the claim yourself. An employer who pays an employee wages less than what they are due under the minimum wage law shall be liable for the full amount of the wage rate and an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, less any amount actually paid, and for costs and such reasonable attorney fees as may be allowed by the court or jury.

The time limit for all actions for the collection of any deficiency in wages is two years from the accrual of the cause of action. See 290.527, RSMo at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/c200-299/2900000527.htm.

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As an employer subject to the provisions of the Missouri Minimum Wage Law, what records am I required to keep and how long should they be kept?

You should keep a record of the name, address, and job description of each employee; the rate of pay and the amount paid each pay period to each employee; and the number of hours worked each day and each workweek by the employee. These records should be kept on or about the premises for a period of no less than three years.

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To whom do I have to provide the records?

The records shall be open for inspection by the Department Director or his authorized representative. When the records are kept outside the state, they shall be made available upon demand.

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Will my records be made available to the public?

All records and information obtained by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards, pursuant to a minimum wage investigation are confidential and shall be disclosed only on order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

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Can deductions for the employer′s benefit (such as deductions for damage caused by the employee or for repayment of loans to the employee) be made from an employee's paycheck?

Yes, but only so long as any such deduction does not take a covered employee's wages below the state hourly minimum wage rate.

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Prevailing Wage

What is the prevailing wage?

The prevailing wage is the minimum wage amount that workers on Missouri public works construction projects must be paid. It is required by law and determined through surveys conducted by the Division of Labor Standards as to the number of actual hours worked at each wage rate paid to workers in each particular occupational title (classification/trade). These surveys are conducted every year in every county throughout the state.

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What is the Annual Wage Order?

The Division of Labor Standards issues the Annual Wage Order each year. It contains the proper hourly wage rates, overtime and holiday wage rates, and make up schedules for workers on prevailing wage projects.

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As an employee of a contractor on a public works project, I qualify for prevailing wage, but I am not receiving it. What can I do?

If you feel you are not being paid the proper wage rate, contact the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403 to file a complaint, or you can access the complaint form here on our Web site.

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As a contractor, how do I obtain a copy of the prevailing wage rate for a specific project?

Contact the public body involved in the project for an official copy of the prevailing wage rates that were made part of the bid specifications for that project. They are required by law to provide a copy of the Annual Wage Order for each project as part of the bid specifications.

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As a public body, how do I obtain a copy of the Annual Wage Order?

Complete the form found on this Web site, call the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403, or send your request in writing to the Division of Labor Standards, P.O. Box 449, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

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Youth Employment

At what age can a young person start working?

Young people under the age of 14 are allowed to work only in limited areas such as the entertainment industry. An entertainment permit is required to do so. You can obtain a permit on this Web site, or by calling the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

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What jobs are not allowable for 14- and 15-year-olds?

Prohibited occupations generally involve dangerous equipment (cookers, slicers), dangerous materials (such as toxic chemicals), or dangerous duties (driving, roofing). In addition, there are specific restrictions on employment of youth in hotels and businesses that sell alcoholic beverages. For more information contact the Missouri Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

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Under Missouri law, what times and hours can 14- and 15-year-olds work?

               Acceptable Work Hours: 14 and 15 Year Olds

 (While School is in Session)

 (While School is NOT in Session)

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7 a.m. to 9 p.m.*

No more than 8 hours on non-school days.
No more than 3 hours on school days.

No more than 8 hours on non-school days.
No more than 3 hours on school days.

No more than 6 days a week

No more than 6 days a week (40 hours a week)

*In certain circumstances, 14 and 15 year olds may work until 10:30 p.m. if employed at a regional fair when school is NOT in session.

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If a young person works for a parent does the law still apply?

The only allowable exemption from the law is when the business is owned by the parent or legal guardian and the child remains under the direct control of the parent or legal guardian. If the parent is simply a supervisor, the law still applies.

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What is a work certificate?

Any person who is 14 or 15 years old must give an employer a completed work certificate before working during school months. The work certificate is approved and issued by the local public school superintendent′s office and requires parental consent. You can get a work certificate form on this Web site or by calling the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

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Does the superintendent of the public school need to sign off on the work certificate even if the youth is a private or home-schooled student?

Yes. Missouri law requires that work certificates are issued and signed by or under the direction of the superintendent of public schools in the district where the child lives.

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What if the superintendent does not sign the work certificate because he or she is not familiar with the student?

Statutes allow the superintendent to decide whether to issue the certificate. If the superintendent is unreasonable in his/her failure to issue a work certificate, the child can take advantage of the administrative review process Section 536.150 RSMo. provided by Missouri law.

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What is a work permit?

A work permit is more commonly called an entertainment permit. This form is issued by the Division of Labor Standards to permit a youth under age 16 to work in the entertainment industry. A completed entertainment permit form must be submitted to the Division with proof of birth. Turnaround time is generally within 48 hours. You can obtain a copy of the permit here on this Web site or by calling the Division of Labor Standards at 573-751-3403.

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Can a young person be an independent contractor?

No. Missouri law prohibits any individual under the age of 18 from working as an independent contractor.

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What if Missouri and federal child labor laws do not agree?

The federal law (Fair Labor Standards Act) applies when a company does more than $500,000 in annual business, or their employees engage in interstate commerce. When both federal and state laws apply but do not agree on a specific point, the stricter law applies, but both sets of laws must be complied with.

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On-Site Safety and Health Consultation

Is there a charge for the consultation visit?

No. The consultation program is a no-cost service to qualifying Missouri small business employers.

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Who should sign the Application for Consultation Service?

The signature on the Application for Consultation Service signifies a contract with the Missouri Consultation Program in which the business agrees to correct all Serious hazards identified by the consultant. Therefore, the person signing the application must have managerial authority to insure that corrective action will be taken. An example would be the owner, president, production manager, etc.

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When will I receive my consultation visit?

You will receive a letter acknowledging our receipt of your application. We will then place your facility on the consultant’s list of companies to visit. We are required to prioritize requests by the smallest facility with the highest level of hazards expected. You can expect a visit to be scheduled between two to six months, depending on the priority assigned and your location in the state. The consultant will not come to your facility until you have been contacted and a visit date has been scheduled.

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What is an imminent danger condition, a serious or other-than-serious hazard?

  • Imminent Danger Condition means any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm, either immediately or before the danger can be eliminated.
  • A Serious hazard is a hazard that is likely to cause serious injury, illness or death and would be cited as a standards violation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Other-than-serious hazards are cited in situations where the accident/incident or illness that would be most likely result from a hazardous condition would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.

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How much time do I have to correct Imminent Danger Conditions and hazards?

Imminent Danger Conditions and hazards must be corrected immediately or we are required to refer the company to OSHA enforcement. (Imminent Danger Conditions are very rare.)

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How much time do I have to correct Serious hazards?

The employer and the consultant will mutually agree to correct Serious hazards identified in the shortest feasible time frame. This timeframe will depend on the gravity of the Serious hazard and the corrective measures needed to abate it.

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What if I am unable to correct one of the Serious hazards in the agreed upon time frame because of some complication?

You will need to contact the consultation project manager prior to the end of the given time frame and submit a written justification for the delay, the interim protections being provided to the employees, and request a new reasonable time frame to correct the Serious hazard.

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Do I have to correct all hazards identified or implement all recommendations suggested by the consultant?

You will need to correct all hazards identified by the consultant; however, the employer is only required to submit written corrections of Serious hazards identified by the consultant.

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Will OSHA be notified that I have applied for the consultation service or have a visit in progress?

No. By federal law, OSHA compliance officers cannot request any information about any consultation visit from our office. If an OSHA compliance officer asks if you have utilized the Consultation Program, it will be your choice to share that information. (However, if OSHA requests any exposure monitoring records, you must provide the information to the OSHA compliance officer.)

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Are we more likely to have an OSHA inspection after we have used your service?

No. The consultation service is confidential. OSHA has no information about our visits nor do they know where we are scheduled to visit. You have the same chance of experiencing an OSHA visit whether you utilize our service or not.

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What if I disagree with the opinion of the consultant involving a suggested Serious hazard?

Our consultants must adhere to OSHA standard regulations and directives in their process of identifying hazards. The consultants use the same information that an OSHA compliance officer would use in classifying those hazards. We encourage the employer to contact the Consultation Project Manager with questions concerning specific hazards identified.

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What if I refuse to correct a Serious hazard that has been identified by the consultant?

By signing the Consultation Application for Service, you have agreed to correct all Serious hazards identified by the consultant in the shortest, feasible time frame. If you refuse to correct a Serious hazard that could cause Serious harm or death to an employee, the consultant is required to notify the Consultation Program Manager of your refusal. The Program Manager will attempt to assist you in understanding the consequences of your refusal to correct the Serious hazards, including his obligation to refer your company to OSHA compliance for an immediate visit.

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Do I have to post the List of Hazards that came with my official report?

Yes. You must post the List of Hazards either electronically or in a location where it is readily observed by all affected employees for three days or until the hazards identified on the list are corrected, whichever is longer.

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Mine and Cave Safety

Where can I get mine safety training materials and forms?

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

Field Office
1400 Independence Road, Suite 100
Rolla, MO 65401
573-364-8282

District Office
1100 Commerce St., Room 462
Dallas, TX 75242-0499
214-767-8401

National Mine Health and Safety Academy
Department of Instructional Materials
Printing and Property Management Branch
1301 Airport Road
Beaver, West Virginia 25813-9426
Phone: 304-256-3257
Fax: 304-256-3368
MSHADistributionCenter@dol.gov

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I am a contractor. Do I need training?

If you meet any of the following criteria you must have Miner Safety and Health Training.

  • You are engaged in the mining process
  • You are exposed to mining hazards at the mine site
  • You are at the mine site on a frequent basis performing work

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What does Mine Safety and Health Training cost?

There is no cost to the miner or mine operator. Training is funded by a grant from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) with a 20 percent matching fund from the state.

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I am a contractor for surface and underground mines. What type of training must I have?

All of your employees who work at surface mines must receive Part 48 Training and Retraining for Miners except for those who work in shell dredging, sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, colloidal phosphate, or surface limestone mines, who must attend Part 46 Training and Retraining of Miners.

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How many hours of training must I provide to a new mine employee?

If your operation is a surface mine, new employees must receive 24 hours of training -- Part 46 New Miner Training, for those who work in shell dredging, sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, colloidal phosphate, or surface limestone mines, or Part 48 Surface New Miner Training. If your operation is underground, new employees must receive 40 hours of training under Part 48 New Miner Training. For more information see the Mine Safety and Health Administration Web site at www.msha.gov.

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What types of mining operations does the state of Missouri inspect?

Coal, clay, shale, iron, lead, zinc, copper, silica sand, and granite mining operations.

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How can I schedule a consultation to help me compile a proper mine safety and health program?

Call the Division of Labor Standards Mine and Cave Safety and Health at 573-751-3403 to schedule one of our inspectors or instructors to meet with your company.

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I work for an underground mining company. Do I have to work longer than eight hours a day?

Missouri law states it is unlawful for any operator engaged in mining or prospecting for minerals to work any employee longer than eight hours in a 24 hour time period without his/her consent.

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Does Missouri require a blasting certification for mining companies?

No. Missouri does not require a certified blaster to conduct blasting operations.

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