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Mining Research Program

Program Description

The Mining Program conducts research to eliminate occupational diseases, injuries and fatalities from the mining workplace. Our goal is to ensure that our research portfolio responds to the greatest needs of our customers, that our work is of the highest quality, and that our limited resources will have the greatest impact. See the Mining Topics page for a list of current and past health and safety topics the program has addressed.

Burden and Need

Burden and need for the Mining Program is established through surveillance data and statistics and stakeholder input. Surveillance data show how workers are being killed, injured, or impaired. Customers and stakeholders identify their needs and the value of our products and services. Risk analysis techniques are used to assess low probability, high impact events such as mine explosions. These same inputs also allow us to target research areas, set priorities, and assess impact. We then use an external peer-review process to evaluate our research proposals and ensure the scientific merit of our work.

Program Goals

The strategic goals of the Mining Program are:

  1. Respiratory diseases: Reduce respiratory diseases in miners by reducing health hazards in the workplace associated with coal worker pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and diesel emissions.
  2. Hearing loss: Reduce noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the mining industry.
  3. Cumulative injuries: Reduce repetitive/cumulative musculoskeletal injuries in mine workers.
  4. Traumatic injuries: Reduce traumatic injuries in the mining workplace.
  5. Mine disasters: Reduce the risk of mine disasters (fires, explosions, and inundations); and minimize the risk to, and enhance the effectiveness of, emergency responders.
  6. Ground control: Reduce ground failure fatalities and injuries in the mining industry.
  7. Surveillance and training: Determine the impact of changing mining conditions, new and emerging technologies, training, and the
    changing patterns of work on worker health and safety.

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Program Impact

The Mining Program achieves safety and health impact by providing solutions to its stakeholders. These include tools and products along with a range of publications. Impact is also assessed periodically through independent review. During 2005-2008, the National Academies conducted an evaluation of NIOSH's research programs with respect to their impact, relevance, and future directions. 

Read more about the recent impact of Mining Program work in the "Mining Program Performance One-Pager".


Internal research projects in the Mining Program are conducted by NIOSH researchers.


Contracts are used to fund private parties outside of NIOSH to conduct activities that complement the internal research projects.

Funding Opportunities

There are a variety of opportunities to receive funding to support the NIOSH Mining Program.

A special Mining Funding Opportunities page describes high priority funding solicitations that become available from time to time.

Other funding information is available from the NIOSH Funding Opportunities page, including instructions on finding NIOSH solicitations on