NIOSH Mining Safety and Health Research

About Us

See also: Awards, Core competencies, Physical infrastructure, Outreach, Research program


Our mission is to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through research and prevention. We are a division of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


We have a long and rich history of advancing mine worker safety and health. Our program began in 1910 when Congress created the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Acts of 1969 and 1977 ( charged the Bureau of Mines with conducting mine safety and health research. Both NIOSH and the Bureau of Mines have contributed significant safety improvements to the mining industry. Since 1910, fatalities decreased from more than 3,000 per year to 55 in 2004. Yet, the risk of being killed in mining is still nearly six times greater than in general industry and the risk of being injured is double that of other industries. While occupational illnesses such as black lung have declined significantly, thousands of mineworkers are adversely impacted each year.

Detailed history of the NIOSH Mining Program

Our research facilities

Researchers conduct the majority of the work in the mining research program at 4 sites located near Pittsburgh, PA and Spokane, WA. In addition to shops for dealing with electronics, chemistry and instrumentation, these sites house many truly unique facilities and laboratories for addressing mining safety and health problems.

Our research partners

We collaborate with many national and international partners, including mining companies, industry associations, enforcement agencies, labor unions, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and academic institutions. NIOSH is part of the Global Mining Research Alliance which partners with mining research organizations in Canada, South Africa, and Australia. This alliance brings complementary capabilities together and allows partners to better leverage their resources in finding the solutions to mining health and safety problems.

Funding opportunities

To complement our intramural Research Program, we sponsor research and training through extramural programs. The creativity and special resources available in the extramural community make these programs an important component in achieving a National goal to have safe jobs and healthy workers.

Career opportunities

Information about NIOSH career opportunities may be found through the following links:

Page last updated: October 21, 2008
Page last reviewed: June 19, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Division