8.3 Hazard surveillance: National Occupational Health Survey of Mining8.2 National Occupational Respiratory Mortality System | 8.4 Worker Health Chartbook
Mandates to systematically and scientifically characterize harmful chemical and physical agents found at U.S. mines were specified by the U.S. Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, Section 101(a)(6)(B). MSHA requested that NIOSH assume this responsibility and RDRP surveillance staff did so.
RDRP designed and carried out the survey. From May 1984 to August 1989, 491 mines throughout the U.S. were visited by RDRP field survey personnel who collected data about exposure agents. Respiratory hazards assessed included potential exposures to various mine-related dusts, chemicals, welding, brazing, and soldering agents. Bulk mine dust samples were also obtained.
Outputs and Transfer
NIOSH . Results from the National Occupational Health Survey of Mining (NOHSM). Cincinnati, OH:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No 96–136 (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/96-136.html).
In addition to the major report, five other NOHSM presentations/publications provided specific results on health hazards in the mining industry; two of these are indicated in the appendix by an asterisk (A8-2). The report and associated publications provided important mine hazard surveillance data. For example, based on analysis of bulk dust samples, it was estimated that approximately 214,000 miners were potentially exposed to dust with greater than five percent quartz. Overall, this work identified a broad range of occupational health hazards potentially affecting the health of over 200,000 U.S. miners that had never previously been documented through a systematic and scientifically valid study.
NOSHM had influence on others outside of RDRP.
The following lists most of the types of interested parties that have requested further information from the NOSHM:
MSHA used the document as a source of information about occupational health hazards in the mining industry in preparing its Interim Final Rule on Hazard Communication (HazCom), 65 FR 59048, dated October 3, 2000 (A8-8). In the late 1990s, the NOHSM findings were used by MSHA to develop priorities for health-related environmental sampling in metal and nonmetal mines.
Although this project has been completed, the hazards surveillance data generated is available as a resource to interested investigators. Bulk mine dust samples collected during the survey have also been stored as a resource for potential future studies.