Request for information about Mining Automation and Safety Research Prioritization

March 2019
NIOSH Docket Number 325, CDC-2019-0016

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requested information to inform the prioritization of research to be undertaken by the institute’s Mining Program. NIOSH recently established a research program to address the rapidly expanding area of automation and associated technologies in mining. These new technologies include automated mobile equipment, robotics, teleoperation, wireless communications and sensing systems, wearable sensors and computers, virtual and augmented reality, and data analytics.

In this Request for Information, NIOSH was seeking input on priority gaps in knowledge regarding the safety and health implications of humans working with automated equipment and associated technologies in mining. Emphasis was to be on worker safety and health research in which NIOSH has the comparative advantage, and is unlikely to be undertaken by other federal agencies, academia, or the private sector.

To understand the state of automation technologies, their implementation in the United States, and the health and safety concerns associated with the technology, NIOSH, through this Request for Information, was interested in input on the following questions:

  1. To what extent will automation and associated technologies be implemented in mining and in what timeframe?
  2. What are the related health and safety concerns with automation and associated technologies in mining?
  3. What gaps exist in occupational health and safety research related to automation and associated technologies?

NIOSH, through this Request for Information, was seeking feedback on these questions and on any additional knowledge gaps, ideas, innovations, or practice improvements, as well as feedback on how the research areas should be prioritized. NIOSH was especially interested in any creative and new ideas as they relate to protecting the health and safety of miners today and in the future.

To view the notice and related materials, visit https://www.regulations.govexternal icon  and enter CDC-2019-0016 in the search field and click “Search.”

Reference Documents
Page last reviewed: May 20, 2019