Mining Feature: Mining Program Celebrates NIOSH's 50th Anniversary

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

NIOSH 50th anniversary logo with tagline

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) turns 50 this year, marking a half-century of improving the health and safety of people at work. For more on the history of NIOSH and its array of divisions and programs dedicated to worker safety and health, see its 50th Anniversary page. The Mining Program has been a part of NIOSH since 1996, but the Program has been conducting mining research since 1910.

Immediately upon becoming a division within NIOSH, the Mining Program began contributing valuable research on topics to help mine workers and, often by extension, workers in related fields. 

Starting in the mid-1990s, the Mining Program expanded its research into hearing loss prevention, human factors and emergency response, communications and tracking systems, mine seals, dust monitoring, coal dust explosibility, and a variety of other topics after the passage of the MINER Act in 2006.

The MINER Act came in response to several fatal coal mining accidents, and the legislation mandated the use of refuge alternatives in underground coal mines. The Mining Program followed suit by beginning research into the capacities and capabilities of various refuges to keep miners alive after a disaster.

Research continues into such critical topics as ground control, musculoskeletal disorder prevention, diesel exhaust, haul truck safety, training, illumination, fire prevention, and a wide variety of other subjects.

Page last reviewed: April 27, 2021
Page last updated: April 27, 2021