Mining Feature: Celebrate Miners on National Miners Day - December 6, 2021
Friday, December 3, 2021
The NIOSH Mining Program's Pittsburgh campus has been a focal point for safety and health research for more than a century. Here, in an old photo, a group of mining researchers stand in front of a mine portal. (Click for larger image.)
Every year on December 6, in honor of National Miners Day, the NIOSH Mining Program celebrates the men and women of the mining industry and commemorates their hard work and the sacrifices they make while working to extract essential resources from the earth. Mining is a profession vital to sustaining the necessities, conveniences, and technologies we depend on in our modern world, including items we use every day such as cars, houses, computers, cell phones, cookware, and roads. Our modern lives depend on the dedication of miners who have one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in America.
In 2009, Congress named December 6 as National Miners Day. This date was chosen in remembrance of the December 6, 1907, coal mine disaster in Monongah, West Virginia. This remains the worst mining disaster in American history and resulted in the deaths of 362 miners.
Although mining has become safer than it was in its early days, modern mine workers still face many challenges and threats to their safety and health, such as roof falls, explosions, contaminated air that can cause lung diseases, and excessive noise exposure that can cause hearing loss. In 1910, Congress created the Bureau of Mines, the precursor of the NIOSH Mining Program, to conduct research to make miners’ jobs safer. Since then, the NIOSH Mining Program’s mission has been to eliminate fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the mining industry through extensive, research-based solutions to mining hazards to make the mining industry safer for miners.