Mine Safety and Health Specialist (Accident Investigation/Special Investigation)

Arlington, Virginia
Oct 14, 2020
Oct 21, 2020
Full Time


This position is located in the Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Office of Enforcement, Division of Accident Investigation, Special Investigation and Alternative Case Resolution (AI/SI/ACR), Arlington, VA.

This position is inside the bargaining unit.

Learn more about this agency


Coordinates and/or advises the Program Manager on regulatory requirements pertaining to accident investigations. Directs or participates in accident investigations and actively participates in Agency efforts to address changes required as a result of the accident investigations and may be required to serve on ad hoc committees established to develop strategies for resolving problems in the mining industry.

Personally examines or participates in the examination of accident sites; interviews of survivors, witnesses and other parties. May also participate in the reconstruction of the mine environment prior to the accident. In most cases reconstruction will be extremely complicated due to the destruction caused by the accident or disaster. Reviews mine records, inspection reports, and other documents and participates in the writing of reports that address the causes) of accidents and disasters.

Coordinates and/or prepares revisions and interpretations of policy manuals and instructions affecting accident investigations in Enforcement and the Agency. Participates in writing/revising policies regarding implementation and interpretation of mandatory mine safety and health standards and applicable enforcement guidelines pertinent to accident investigations. Serves as a technical coordinator, advisor, and editor of manuals and handbooks, specifying requirements applicable to accident investigations.

Reviews and analyzes highly technical, complex and sensitive reports, including accident reports. Reviews citations and orders relating to findings during accident investigations.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 15% travel required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
14 - There is no obligation to provide future promotions if you are selected. Promotions are dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, meet all the performance requirements, and supervisor's recommendation to the next grade.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be at least 16 years old and a U.S. Citizen.
  • Candidate required to obtain the necessary security/investigation level.
  • Requires medical exam and must maintain physical requirements.
  • Subject to pre-employment and random drug tests.
  • Subject to financial disclosure requirements.
  • Requires a probationary period if the requirement has not been met.

Applicants must meet time-in-grade, time-after-competitive-appointment and qualifications requirements within 30 calendar days after the closing date of the vacancy to be eligible for consideration for selection.

Federal Employees Please Note: Your SF-50 must include enough information to be able to determine that time-in-grade requirements have been met and reflects your position title, pay plan/series/grade, tenure and the type of appointment (i.e. competitive/excepted). In some cases you may need to submit more than one SF-50.

Reference the "Required Documents" section for additional requirements.


At the GS-13 level applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, GS-12 in the Federal Service. Specialized experience includes, but is not limited to data analysis and evaluation of operational mine safety and health programs; applying analytical and evaluative methods and techniques to develop new procedures and approaches to resolve enforcement issues and reducing mine accidents; direct on-site inspections and/or accident investigations; producing written reports; proofreading written reports; knowledge of the special investigations process.

At the GS-14 level applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, GS-13, in the Federal Service. Specialized experience includes, but is not limited to data analysis and evaluation of operational mine safety and health programs; applying analytical and evaluative methods and techniques to develop new procedures and approaches to identify and resolve significant enforcement issues and reducing mine accidents; direct onsite inspections and coordinating and/ or conducting accident investigations; implementing, coordinating, analyzing and/or developing standards, policies and regulations; producing written reports; proofreading written reports; knowledge of the special investigations process.


There is not substitution of education for specialized experience for this position.

Additional information

DOL seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce in which employees' differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse customers we serve. DOL fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration, flexibility and fairness so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

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 which 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.


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Click here for Evaluation details. For Displaced Employees ONLY: if you meet the eligibility requirements for special priority selection under ICTAP / CTAP , you must be well-qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. ICTAP/CTAP eligibles will be considered "well-qualified" if they attain at least a rating score of 85 in a numerical rating scheme. Be sure to review DOL Account Eligibility Questions #24 to reflect that you are applying as a ICTAP or CTAP eligible and submit supporting documentation.

Evaluation Factors (Competencies) - All qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following key competencies:

Interpersonal Skills: Considers and responds appropriately to the needs, feelings and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive and treats others with respect.

Mine Safety and Health: Knowledge of the enforcement activities and subsequent policies, and regulations required under the Mine Act and the Miners Act.

Oral Communication: Makes clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed; facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters atmosphere of open communication.

Written Communication: Expresses facts and ideas in writing in a clear, convincing and organized manner.

Problem Solving: Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

Reasoning/Analysis: Identifies rules, principles or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes data and information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.

The information you provide may be verified by a review of your work experience and/or education, by checking references and through other means (ex. interview). Your evaluation may also include a review by an HR Specialist or panel and may include other assessment tools (ex. interview, structured interview, written test, work sample, etc). The examining Human Resources Office (HRO) makes the final determination concerning applicant ratings. Your resume MUST provide sufficient information to substantiate your vacancy question responses. If not, the HRO may amend your responses to more accurately reflect the level of competency indicated by the content of your resume.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

The following documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on the vacancy closing date. Warning: If you submit a document using the same document title, the 2nd submission will OVERWRITE the 1st submission. Also, do not upload password protected documents.

- The following documents are required from all applicants (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):

ARE YOU A CURRENT OR FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEE? If applying as a status candidate with current or former Federal Service, please provide a copy of your last or most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action" which shows your appointment eligibility for the position for which you are applying. Your SF-50 must identify the highest grade you held on a permanent basis, Pay Plan/Pay Schedule, Series, and Grade/Pay Band, and career status. Multiple SF-50 may be submitted to demonstrate your highest previous rate and eligibility.

*WARNING: An award SF-50 (ex. cash or time off award) may not indicate grade, step and competitive status. For current DOL employees, an award SF-50 DOES NOT indicate grade and step.

- Most recent performance appraisal/evaluation signed and dated within 18 months is requested by the agency, but will not disqualify candidates if not submitted. If not submitted during the application process, one may/will be requested at the time of the interview if the opportunity is extended. Applies to current and former Federal employees.

- The following documents are required if applicable:

- Displaced Employee Placement Documents - Only required if requesting priority consideration under CTAP Eligibility .

- Cover Letters are not mandatory and will not be used to verify experience, but may be submitted.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.