Mining Feature: Celebrate Miners on Miners Day, December 6, 2023

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Historical photo of spectators with umbrellas gathering to watch testing outdoors

Spectators gather to watch explosion testing at the Bruceton Research Center on a rainy day in 1914.

Every year on December 6, we celebrate National Miners Day and pay special attention to the contributions mining makes in our lives. We also acknowledge how challenging it is for mine workers to do the work they do to make our modern way of living possible.

The interconnected, contemporary world we live in depends on the raw materials the mining industry provides. Without the work that miners do to extract the necessary raw materials, everyday items such as cell phones, cars, cookware, roadways, buildings, mass transit, and other elements common to daily life would be impossible.

Miners Day was established by Congress in 2009 to honor miners. The date was chosen to acknowledge the Monongah mining explosion, the worst single loss-of-life mining disaster in American history. On December 6, 1907, at least 362 West Virginia coal miners were killed in a catastrophic explosion.

Mining has come a long way in terms of safety, but modern mine workers still face many challenges and threats to their safety and health. And while these risks have diminished with improved mitigations, advances in technology, and careful planning, more work is needed to stay ahead of remaining hazards. NIOSH Mining Program researchers are inspired by Miners Day to continue developing research-based practical solutions to address these hazards.

Page last reviewed: December 5, 2023
Page last updated: December 5, 2023