Mine Safety and Health Specialist (Ventilation)

Vansant, Virginia
Feb 02, 2023
Feb 07, 2023
Full Time

The duties listed are at the full performance level:

As an Authorized Representative (AR) of the U.S. Secretary of Labor, the incumbent performs the following duties to enforce the mine safety and health laws and promote safety and health in the mining industry.

Investigations/Inspections (50%): Participates in investigations involving explosions, fires, or other mine accidents which could have resulted from poorly ventilated practices that present the most serious, unusual, and hard-to-define problems to resolve. The incumbent mays serve as a ventilation expert on teams investigating ventilation-related accidents.

Safety and Plan Reviews/Advisory Services (50%): Reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations concerning the adequacy of ventilation plans submitted periodically by mine operators. Evaluates the plans to determine whether the ventilation control systems, which the operator proposed will provide adequate ventilation in accordance with Federal regulations. After receiving plans, may personally conduct on-site investigations of the mine to determine whether conditions at the mine are the same as portrayed in the plan, acquire information that may not be clear from the plan, or discuss technical problems causing the plan not to be acceptable. Prepares mine maps detailing the layout of ventilation systems and directions of ventilation air currents. Assists in the development of new or modified ventilation regulations, standards, and inspection procedures. Advises mine operators and other Federal and State inspectors of new or unusual ventilation methods or other significant safety issues and technological developments. Evaluates and recommends approval or disapproval of requests for variance from ventilation standards.

Performs other duties as assigned.


Conditions of Employment

  • Requires medical exam and must maintain physical requirements.
  • Subject to pre-employment and random drug tests.
  • Requires a valid drivers license.
  • Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.
  • Subject to financial disclosure requirements.
  • Appointment to this position may require a background investigation.

Applicants must meet all legal and regulatory requirements. Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.

Notification Concerning COVID-19 Vaccinations. As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal executive branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit documentation of proof of vaccination or to be in the process of requesting an exception to the vaccination requirement before appointment or onboarding with the agency. The agency will provide additional information regarding which forms of documentation can be accepted and how you can request to be considered for a legally required exception from this requirement.

Currently, implementation and enforcement of Executive Order 14043 has been suspended pursuant to an injunction pending further litigation.


The Mine Safety and Health Specialist, GS-1822, has specific basic requirements described in an Individual Occupational Requirement (IOR). Applicants must meet the below specialized experience requirement from the IOR:

Experience performing mine safety and health inspection, analysis and evaluation of health/safety aspects of mining industry operations and processes; or evaluation, analysis or development of agency programs.

Examples of creditable experience include: Direct on-site inspection; special accident investigation; development of mine safety and health standards; data analysis and evaluation of operational mine safety and health programs; special assessments; and development of industry-wide training or safety and health awareness programs.

In addition to meeting the IOR above, applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade, GS-09 for the grade level 11, and GS-11 for the Grade Level GS-12, in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience in or directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled, and which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Specialized experience requirements for each grade level is defined as follows.

For the GS-11 grade level: Specialized experience must include at least two of the following:

· Participates/assists in conducting a wide variety of on-site safety and health inspections and investigations of mines, preparation plants and related facilities;
· Participates/assists in investigations involving explosions, fires, or other mine accidents which could have resulted from poorly ventilated practices that present the most serious, unusual and hard to define problems to resolve;
· Assists ventilation experts on teams investigating accidents involving ventilation related accidents/hazards or issues.

For the GS-12 grade level: Specialized experience must include at least three of the following:

· Independently conducts a wide variety of on-site safety and health inspections and investigations of mines, preparation plants and related facilities;
· Independently investigates explosions, fires, or other mine accidents which could have resulted from poorly ventilated practices that present the most serious, unusual and hard to define problems to resolve;
· Serves as a ventilation expert on teams investigating accidents involving ventilation related accidents/hazards or issues;
· Experience with mining methods, such as design, installation, operations or maintenance of mining systems or equipment related to ventilation.

Medical Requirements

Applicants and employees must be physically able to perform arduous duties efficiently and without hazard to themselves or others. Medical examination is required for all applicants for positions that involve regular or intermittent performance of inspection, investigation, rescue duties, or duties involving on-site visits. Medical conditions that constitute a hazard to safe and efficient job performance are disqualifying. The presence of medical disorders that would be aggravated by the environmental conditions of these positions and thereby hinder safe and efficient job performance are also disqualifying.

Remediable defects and/or curable diseases will not permanently disqualify an applicant for appointment, but may result in the applicant's suspension from the appropriate list of eligible(s) pending submission of medical evidence or correction of the condition.

Uncorrected distant vision must test at least 20/50 Snellen in one eye and 20/70 in the other, correctable with eyeglasses (contact lenses are not acceptable) to at least 20/30 Snellen in one eye and 20/50 in the other. Near vision must be sufficient to read without strain printed material the size of typewritten characters Normal depth perception and field of vision are required, as is the ability to distinguish basic colors.

Applicants, with or without the use of a hearing aid, must have no hearing loss in either ear of more than 40 decibels in the 500, 1000, or 2000 Hz ranges.


There is no substitution for education at the posted grade levels.

Additional information

Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or have speech disabilities, please dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services.

The mission of the Department of Labor (DOL) is to protect the welfare of workers and job seekers, improve working conditions, expand high quality employment opportunities, and assure work-related benefits and rights for all workers. As such, the Department is committed to fostering a workplace and workforce that promote equal employment opportunity, reflect the diversity of the people we seek to serve, and model a culture of respect, equity, inclusion, and accessibility where every employee feels heard, supported, and empowered.


All MSHA employees and their spouses, and minor children are prohibited by regulation from having any interest, direct or indirect, in any mine or mining company that may be directly affected by the work of MSHA through its investigations, technical research, or other activities. These interests are prohibited under the Department of Labor's Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct Regulations at 5 CFR 5201.105. Certain MSHA employees are required to file a financial disclosure report. For questions, please contact the vacancy contact on this announcement.

Position Telework eligibility is determined by management based on position duties during the recruitment process. Employee participation in telework on a routine or situational basis is determined by management primarily based on business needs. Employees participating in telework are subject to the terms and conditions of the Department of Labor's Telework Program.

Department of Labor may use certain incentives and hiring flexibilities, currently offered by the Federal government to attract highly qualified candidates. Additional information is available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-and-leave-flexibilities-for-recruitment-and-retention/ .