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Mining Project: Health Communications in Mining

Principal Investigator
  • Carin Kosmoski, NIOSH, 412-386-6649
Start Date5/1/2009
Objective

To contribute to improving the health and safety of miners by providing essential health communications and dissemination support and strategies for the NIOSH Mining Program.

Research Summary

This project has four research aims, as follows:

  1. Raise awareness of evidence-based knowledge and practices through the timely development of research communication products including guidelines and training materials to reduce work-related injury, illness, and fatalities.
  2. Use outreach channels to create awareness of NIOSH research results.
  3. Increase the use of social media channels and video to expand the reach of NIOSH scientific information products and technologies.
  4. Collaborate with partners to promote and disseminate NIOSH research at exhibits and conferences.

To continue improving safety and health for mine workers, the NIOSH Mining Program has a dedicated health communications capability. In response to the National Academies’ 2006 review, the NIOSH Mining Program constituted a Health Communications Team and subsequently allocated resources to this Team to achieve program goals related to dissemination and health communications within the mining industry. In particular, the Team addresses the following National Academies’ recommendations: “The Mining Program should place greater emphasis on outputs preferred by mining operators, miners, and other nontechnical users . . . A more proactive, aggressive, and strategic dissemination agenda is suggested, one that is informed by research about the diffusion of new technologies, processes, and practices.”

Under this project, the Health Communications Team assists researchers in communicating health and safety research findings to customers and stakeholders, including mine operators, labor unions, enforcement agencies, industry associations, rank-and-file mine workers, and the general public. In support of this mission, the project team develops media and website-delivered content that leads to effective educational outcomes, training interventions, video modules, printed materials, and other communications products beneficial for improving health and safety in mining.

The overarching goal of this project is to facilitate the mining community’s adoption of new research findings and products developed by NIOSH. These outputs may take the form of printed materials, DVDs, or other media delivered by the internet, mail, or face-to-face interaction. Project staff also oversee Mining Program exhibits and displays at conferences and meetings, where new products and ongoing high-profile research activities are highlighted.

The impact of this project will be measured through surveillance and ongoing interactions with stakeholders to monitor adoption rates of new safety measures, the use of safer equipment, and safer mining practices. Additionally, the Mining Program will monitor website hits, frequency of presentations, number of exhibits, and amount of media coverage generated to measure the impact of the Program's messaging activities over time.


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