Mining Feature: Honoring Miners on National Miners Day - December 6, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020
National Miners Day is December 6. The NIOSH Mining Program honors the men and women of the mining industry for their hard work and sacrifices. Miners unearth the raw materials used to make the modern luxuries we enjoy. In addition to critical supplies of coal, stone, sand, and gravel, the mining industry produces the materials for technologies we rely on daily. Computers and smartphones contain iron, titanium, aluminum, copper, zinc, nickel, gold, silver, lithium, magnesium, mercury, yttrium, palladium, tin, cadmium, indium, lead, samarium, and tantalum which are extracted from the earth by miners. While at work, miners face hazards, including explosions, roof falls, excessive noise, and contaminated air, which threaten their personal safety and health. We thank miners for facing these threats every day to make our lives more comfortable, productive, and safe.
In 2009, Congress named December 6 as National Miners Day, a date chosen to remember the December 6, 1907, coal mine disaster in Monongah, West Virginia—the worst mining disaster in American history—which resulted in the deaths of 362 miners. In 1910, Congress created the Bureau of Mines, the precursor of the NIOSH Mining Program, to conduct research to make miners’ jobs safer and to prevent injuries and fatalities. Through our extensive research, the NIOSH Mining Program strives to lessen the risk that mineworkers face as they extract precious and much-needed resources from the earth.