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In a scenario where a chain split occurs (two miners find a hash), would miners have to work with both chains until one of then become larger (more PoW)? i.e. Would they have to validate transactions from both chains as 1 confirmation until then?

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No they don't. Miners only work on one chain.

In a chain split scenario miners are divided: some work on a chain and the others work on an other chain (both chains are correct, but they have a different last block). The miner who find the next block makes its chain the correct one because it's now the longest.

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  • Some miners forego transactions in a block so they can broadcast more quickly than a miner that includes transactions. Longest chain wins and other is "orphaned" (side chain). You see issue a lot when the difficulty is low and there is a great chance of different miners solving a block around the same time.
    – Sun
    Jan 12 '18 at 18:36

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