About NIOSH Mining Safety and Health Research

Research Program

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Currently, our research projects cover the programmatic areas listed below. See NIOSH Mining Downloadable Publications for papers related to these programmatic areas.

• Diesel monitoring and control• Dust monitoring and control
• Electrical safety and communications• Emergency response and rescue
• Ergonomics• Explosives
• Fire fighting and prevention• Ground control
• Hearing loss prevention• Machine safety
• Surveillance• Training
• Ventilation and explosion prevention

Our portfolio of research projects is based on analysis of surveillance data, customer/stakeholder input, and risk analysis/loss control.

Surveillance data show how workers are being killed, injured, or impaired. Customers and stakeholders identify their needs and the value of our products and services. Risk analysis techniques are used to assess low probability, high impact events such as mine explosions. While our top-level goal is to improve mining safety and health, this will only be achieved by eliminating fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Accordingly, our Strategic Goals, based on these inputs, are:

1.Respiratory diseasesReduce respiratory diseases in miners by reducing health hazards in the workplace associated with coal worker pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and diesel emissions.
2.Hearing lossReduce noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the mining industry.
3.Cumulative injuriesReduce repetitive/cumulative musculoskeletal injuries in mine workers.
4.Traumatic injuriesReduce traumatic injuries in the mining workplace.
5.Mine disastersReduce the risk of mine disasters (fires, explosions, and inundations); and minimize the risk to, and enhance the effectiveness of, emergency responders.
6.Ground controlReduce ground failure fatalities and injuries in the mining industry.
7.Surveillance and trainingDetermine the impact of changing mining conditions, new and emerging technologies, training, and the changing patterns of work on worker health and safety.

These same inputs also allow us to target research areas, set priorities, and assess impact. We then use an external peer-review process to evaluate our research proposals and ensure the scientific merit of our work.

Our goal is to ensure that our research portfolio responds to the greatest needs of our customers, that our work is of the highest quality, and that our limited resources will have the greatest impact.

Page last updated: 9/17/2008
Page last reviewed: 9/17/2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Division