Tourist Mine Inspection Guidelines

MSHA Rocky Mountain District defines a Tourist Mine as: Any mining operation that does not have the intent to produce and sell a product which affects commerce and whose primary intent is conducting tours of the mine.

State Statutory Authority - C.R.S. 34-21-110 - Tourist mines. The office shall have the authority to inspect tourist mines in the state. In those cases where the public health and safety may be in danger, the office may close such mine until modification recommendations made by the office have been made. Where appropriate, such actions shall be made in consultation with the passenger tramway safety board.

The Mine Safety and Training Program (MSTP) inspects all tourist mines in the state to protect the health and safety of the public and employees at the mine. The health and safety standards at each operation will be inspected under Federal Regulations 30 CFR, Part 57 - Safety and Health Standards - Underground Metal and Non-metal mines.

In addition to 30 CFR, Part 57, the state MSTP staff will require the following:

  1. No self-guided tours will be allowed, unless the adit is less than 50 feet long or an agreement is made with the state MSTP staff. Other considerations may make a 50 foot adit too long for self-guided tours. All tourist mines must assure and maintain adequate ventilation.
  2. If a problem is found during a state inspection, the MSTP has and may exercise its right to shut down the mine. If the problem presents an imminent danger to persons, the MSTP will immediately shut down the mine.
  3. In accordance with 30 CFR, Part 57.18002, the tourist mine shall designate a competent person to conduct a daily inspection of the mine and mine conveyance equipment that may adversely affect the safety and health of persons, for hazards, note the hazards and when corrective actions have been completed. A record of these inspections should be maintained and available for the inspector to examine. Any inspection checklist should include at least checks on proper ventilation, ground conditions and control, electrical hazards, general mine hazards, etc.
  4. Personal protective equipment (hard hat, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses, earplugs, gloves if necessary, or other equipment necessary for your job shall be worn as required. The tourist mine operator or owner shall evaluate when and where the appropriate personal protective equipment are required and agreed upon with the inspector.
  5. Emergency procedures shall be in place for events that can be reasonably expected to occur at the mine. The emergency procedures should include, key people trained in emergency response procedures (includes fires, first aid, roof falls, water inundations, explosions, communications systems), an adequate supply of first aid materials, accurate mine maps and escape procedures in which all employees are trained, etc.
  6. Safety Awareness must be conducted to adequately inform tourists of the hazards they may encounter while on tour.
  7. Each tourist shall be informed regarding the proper conduct and procedures to follow prior to commencement of the tour.

Contact: Brandon Neal, Program Administrator, (303) 866-3567 x 8151