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Mining Projects

NIOSH Mining projects are competitively funded intramural research based on focused scientific questions or hypotheses aimed to address a relevant challenge in protecting the health and safety of mine workers. Each project has a principal investigator (PI) who directs the research and writes a funding proposal, including the planned research aims, the work to be done, the NIOSH Mining facilities and outside partners who will be involved, and the needed personnel and budget. At the completion of a project, typical outputs are new or improved design guidelines, physical products, software packages, or new information published in peer-reviewed journals or as NIOSH numbered publications. Most projects are funded for four years, and pilot projects are funded for one year.

Note: Click on the column headings to sort ascending/descending or use the search box to narrow results by keyword.  Left click the tabs to view current or completed projects.

Title Short Description Topic Area(s) PI(s) Completed
Advance Strategies for Controlling Exposures to Diesel Aerosols A project to develop and implement workplace solutions to reduce miners’ overexposure to hazardous airborne contaminants emitted from diesel-powered equipment. Aleksandar Bugarski 0
Advanced Mining Seismicity Processing A project to explore and refine advanced event detection, location, and magnitude estimation methods that can be used to increase seismic catalog quality. Derrick Chambers 1
Advancement of Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines A project to minimize the risk of heat illness for miners entering an RA, ensure the availability of air delivery and purging systems for RAs, facilitate the use of BIP RAs, and develop a reliable communications system for RAs. David Yantek 0
Advancing Exposure Monitoring for Airborne Particulates in Mining A project to design, validate, and promote the use of advancements in monitoring the exposure of miners to respirable dust, respirable crystalline silica, and diesel particulate matter. Emanuele Cauda 0
Alternative Mining Methods in Challenging Environments A project to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by rockburst-related ground failures in underground mines by developing an integrated, systematic approach for monitoring mining-induced seismic events. Joseph Seymour 0
An Analysis of Health and Safety Management Systems in Mining A pilot project to identify leading indicators in health and safety management practices unique to the mining industry and compare them against the leading indicators of mature occupational health and safety programs. Dana Reinke Willmer 1
Analysis of Health and Safety Management System Practices Through Multilevel Interventions Identify and characterize H&S performance practices through worker-technology-management interactions to provide guidance about risk processes with a focus on management of site risks and improvement in H&S values through empowering initiatives. Emily Haas 0
Applicability of Proximity Detection to Mobile Underground Coal Equipment A project to determine whether the proximity detection systems currently available to the underground coal mining industry provide protection to miners working near mobile haulage equipment such as shuttle cars and scoops. Jacob Carr 1
Assessing and Evaluating Human Systems Integration Needs in Mining A project to use a systems approach to characterize what information needs to be provided to mine workers, determine the timing and format of that information, and then use this information to develop alternatives to interfaces design. Jennica Bellanca 1
Assessing Elevated Stress Due to Full Extraction Mining A project to develop engineering-based stress analysis procedures for improved assessment of stress-related hazards due to full extraction mining. Ted Klemetti 0
Assessing the Safety Culture of Coal Mining A project to work with a consultant, Human Performance Analysis, to assess the safety culture at U.S. coal mines. Carin Kosmoski 1
Battery Safety Enhancements for Underground Coal Mines A project to make recommendations and guide policy or program decisions regarding the safety of batteries used in underground coal mines. Thomas H. Dubaniewicz 1
Blast Damage Control to Reduce Injuries from Ground Falls in Underground Western U.S. Hard Rock Mines A project to make available blast damage models and an easy-to-use software tool for mining engineers to use in developing improved blast designs. Stephen Iverson 1
Breathing Air Supplies Research A project to improve breathing air supplies by conducting a development program; exploring and identifying technologies in other fields that may be adapted; and designing, developing, and producing technology demonstrators. Rohan Fernando 0
Calibration and Verification of Longwall Stress Models A project to address the paucity of guidance in available literature for assessing the design an underground longwall coal mine for safe ground response to mining with numerical stress analysis tools. Mark Larson 1
Certification Test Protocol Development and Treated Rock Dust Deployment Strategies A project to eliminate coal dust explosions in underground coal mines through the development of improved methodologies for identifying and mitigating explosible accumulations of coal dust. Eranda Perera 0
CFD Modeling in Processing Facilities A project to understand the dust generation and transport processes and propose ventilation designs to minimize the dust at mineral processing plants using CFD models. Arthur Miller 1
Clinical and Field Data Analysis of Miner Health A project to compile, manage, and analyze available secondary data sources related to miner health and exposure across mining, but with an initial emphasis on metal and industrial mineral sectors. Gerald Poplin 0
Coal Mine Safety Applications of Seismic Monitoring A project to implement in-mine seismic monitoring techniques in coal mines to evaluate and demonstrate potential mine safety benefits of this technology. Peter L. Swanson 1
Coal Workers� Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) A project to maintain a Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) designed to identify the incidence and progression of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in all coal miners. Anita Wolfe 0
Communications and Tracking Systems Modeling and Performance A project to enhance the understanding of underground mining communication and tracking system performance through the development and validation of radio signal propagation models. Chenming Zhou 1
Computational Research A project to contribute to improving the health and safety of miners by providing essential information technology development activities for the NIOSH Mining Program. Gregory Cole 0
Continuous Monitoring of Airflow and Methane in Coal Mines A project to develop guidelines to assess ventilation effectiveness in underground coal mines using improved sampling protocols and defining optimal instrument locations for continuous-reading airflow and methane monitors. Anu L. Martikainen 1
Control Technologies and Strategies for Reducing Exposure of Underground Miners to Diesel Emissions A project to reduce exposures of underground miners to diesel particulate matter and gases through implementation of control technologies and understanding of the risks associated with  exposure to diesel engine emissions. Aleksandar Bugarski 1
Controlling Respirable Dust in Coal Mining Operations A project to identify and develop improved respirable dust controls for coal mines and facilitate their implementation to reduce the dust exposures of mine workers. James Rider 0
Defining Risk Perception and Tolerance Within a Decision Science Framework A project to identify and define the theoretical constructs for risk perception and tolerance from the perspective of the sand, stone, and gravel mine worker and determine how these perspectives influence their decisionmaking processes. Brianna Eiter 1
Design Methodology for Rib Control in Coal Mines A project to reduce the number of rib fall accidents in Eastern U.S. underground coal mines by way of developing an engineering-based design methodology that defines the appropriate level of rib support required. Khaled Morsy Mohamed 0
Design of Proximity Systems for Underground Mobile Equipment A project to develop guidelines that the mining industry and regulatory agencies could use in the design and implementation of proximity detection technology for mobile equipment in underground coal mines. Chenming Zhou 0
Design Procedures for Gateroad Ground Control A project to develop engineering-based procedures that will contribute to the practical design of ground control systems in gateroad excavations and longwall extractions. Gabriel Esterhuizen 0
Detecting and Managing Dynamic Failure of Near-Seam Features in Coal and Nonmetal Mines A project to develop strategies for identifying and managing geologic features that increase the risk of dynamic failures in underground coal deposits. Heather Lawson 0
Develop and Evaluate Engineering Noise Controls for Air Carbon Arc Cutting and Gouging A project to develop and evaluate noise controls and alternatives toward reducing sound pressure levels and personal noise exposures from air carbon arcing applications in the mining industry to below permissible exposure limit. Melissa Lowe 1
Develop Mining Fatigue Model and Management System A project to define workplace fatigue for the mining industry by developing a preliminary fatigue model and management system using a human factors systems approach, which accounts for the predictors causing fatigue. Timothy Bauerle 0
Develop Portable DPM Monitor A project to investigate the feasibility of using alternative measurement approaches to quantify both elemental carbon and organic carbon in filter samples of mine air. Arthur Miller 0
Developing a Roadmap and Reference Materials for Minerals and Materials Research A project to create two sets of reference samples, by cataloging and characterizing, previously collected bulk naturally occurring elongate minerals, according to their crystallinity, chemistry, and morphology. Steven Mischler 0
Development and Evaluation of Prototype Kneepads for the Low-Seam Mining Industry A project to reduce the likelihood of knee injuries in low-seam coal miners through a systematic approach that includes the development of guidelines for improved personal protective equipment and interventions. Jonisha P. Pollard 1
Development of Guidelines for the Design of Support Systems to Manage Coal Mine Rib Hazards A project to develop guidelines for determining the appropriate level of support and design methods for support systems to minimize the risk and severity of injuries to miners from rib falls in underground coal mines. Khaled Mohamed 1
Durable Roof Support for Underground Metal Mines A project to employ state-of-the-art ground control science, in a targeted program of case studies, to develop engineering solutions for ground control hazards in underground metal mines. Donovan Benton 0
Durable Support for Western U.S. Underground Metal Mines A project to reduce injuries and fatalities in western U.S. underground metal mines by reducing the falls of ground in these mines. Lewis Martin 1
Economic Methods and Analyses Program A project to develop an economics program to determine the economic consequences of occupational fatal and non-fatal injury and use that information to improve program planning, intervention evaluation, and policy analysis. Linda McWilliams 1
Empirical Guidelines for Longwall Ground Control Design A project to update the database of case histories upon which the Analysis of Longwall Pillar Stability (ALPS) software bases its recommended stability factors. Ted. M. Klemetti 1
Engineering Design for Mine Fire Prevention and Atmospheric Monitoring Systems A project to develop engineering data to improve knowledge of mine fires and their interactions with mine ventilation networks; atmospheric monitoring systems; and fire, prevention, detection, and suppression systems. Liming Yuan 1
Engineering Noise Controls for Haul Trucks and Load Haul Dumps (LHDs) A project to develop, evaluate, and implement engineering controls to reduce noise over-exposures among haul truck and LHD operators. J. Shawn Peterson 1
Engineering Noise Controls for Longwall Mining Systems A project to develop durable noise controls that reduce the noise exposure of longwall mining system crews and facilitate the commercialization of the controls to make them available for all miners. Hugo E. Camargo 1
Enhanced Utilization of Personal Dust Monitor Feedback A project to test an intervention to help miners use personal dust monitor feedback more effectively to reduce their exposure to respirable coal mine dust. Kelly McNelis 1
Enhancing Mine Workers' Abilities to Identify Hazards at Sand, Stone, and Gravel Mines A project to characterize sand, stone, and gravel mine workers’ ability to recognize worksite hazards and to understand how this ability relates to perceived and measured risk as well as to other factors internal and external. Brianna Eiter 0
Evaluation and Development of Hearing Loss Interventions A project to improve the effectiveness of hearing loss prevention interventions through development, refinement, promotion, and long-term evaluation. Amanda S. Azman 1
Evaluation of LIDAR as a Novel Remote Dust Sensing Technology A project to evaluate the feasibility of using Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), a remote sensing technology based on laser reflection, as a dust monitoring tool in the mining industry. Gerald J. Joy 1
Feasibility Study For a Novel Field-Portable DPM Monitor A project to investigate the feasibility of using alternative measurement approaches to quantify both elemental carbon and organic carbon in filter samples of mine air. Arthur Miller 1
Float Dust Control in Underground Coal Mines A project to reduce float dust deposition in return and belt airways of underground coal longwall mines through laboratory and field evaluation of novel dust prevention, capture, and suppression methods and dissemination of related findings. Steven Mischler 0
Ground Control Safety for Deep Vein Mines A project to establish a new standard for ground control safety in deep vein mines. Joseph B. Seymour 1
Health Communications in Mining A project to contribute to improving the health and safety of miners by providing essential health communications and dissemination support and strategies for the NIOSH Mining Program. Carin Kosmoski 0
Identification of Areas at Risk for Coal Bursts in Deep Cover Room and Pillar Mines A project to define the geologic and stress criteria associated with an elevated risk of coal bursts, considering both U.S. and international experience through visits to coalfields. Ted M. Klemetti 1
Improved Dust Control Methods for Longwall Mining A project to develop control technologies that will reduce the most common sources of respirable dust on the longwall face, which will in turn protect the health of mine workers on the longwall face. James P. Rider 1
Improved Ventilation Effectiveness in Underground Coal Mines A project to enhance worker safety by decreasing the likelihood of explosions that are produced by hazardous underground methane concentrations. Robert B. Krog 1
Improvements to Mine Escape Training A project to ensure that suitable information exists for properly training underground coal miners on appropriate procedures for escaping from dangerous situations such as fires, explosions, and inundations. Robert H. Peters 1
Improving Coal Dust Explosion Hazard Assessment Strategies A project to eliminate coal dust explosions in underground coal mines. Marcia L. Harris 1
Improving Situational Awareness through Visual Interventions A project to reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injuries by using human visual performance data to develop specifications for visual cues and technologies that will improve situational awareness and decisionmaking during self-escape. John Sammarco 0
Improving Underground Coal Mine Sealing Strategies A project seeking to eliminate disasters from gas explosions within sealed areas of coal mines through improved engineering of the complete sealing process and better education of the mining workforce. Richard Karl Zipf 1
Increasing the Effectiveness of Targeted Mining Hearing Conservation Program Elements A project to identify and remediate actual and perceived barriers to full implementation of hearing conservation programs at surface stone, sand, and gravel mines. Amanda Azman 0
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Applications in Underground Coal Mines A project to investigate the feasibility potential to develop and implement IIoT concepts into the mining industry. Chenming (Jim) Zhou 1
Intelligent Safety Technology for Mining Machinery A project to investigate the implementation and integration of existing and emerging technologies in surface and underground mines to provide automatic, intelligent protections against traumatic injuries. Joseph Ducarme 1
Inventive Methods for Evaluating the Translation of Hand-arm Vibration to the Ear Canal in Miners A project to assess whether vibration intensity can successfully be measured on heavy-duty mining equipment and the human body simultaneously using technology capable of evaluating hand-arm vibration (HAV) and its possible translation to the hearing canal. Weston DuBose 0
Investigation of Enhanced Refuge Alternatives A project to provide the underlying scientific evidence that addresses, minimizes, and, where possible, eliminates the concerns miners have about using a refuge alternative after a mine disaster. David Yantek 1
Investigation of Simple Cost Effective Whole-Body Vibration Measure Tools: Capabilities, Vibration Measures, & Expansion A project to assess the accuracy of the whole-body vibration app and determine if its capabilities can be expanded to include seat transmissibility. Alan Mayton 0
Mine Roof Simulator (MRS) Laboratory A project to utilize the capabilities of the Mine Roof Simulator (MRS) Laboratory to test underground roof support and ventilation structures and apply these results to engineer safer products and applications. David F. Gearhart 1
Monitoring and Control of Airborne Toxic Substances in Mining A project to advance the assessment and monitoring of exposure respirable aerosols by developing timely, accurate, and site-specific monitoring technologies and strategies to apply to problems associated with exposure to these mining aerosols. Emanuele Cauda 1
Noise Controls for Jumbo Drills Used in Metal/Nonmetal Mines A project to develop durable noise controls that reduce the noise exposure of jumbo drill operators and facilitate the commercialization of the controls to make them available for all miners. J. Shawn Peterson 0
Particulate Measurement and Characterization in Mining A project to develop innovative instruments and methodologies for real-time measurement of respirable mineral aerosols and diesel particulate matter aerosols. Emanuele G. Cauda 1
Predicting Heat Strain in Metal and Nonmetal Mines A project to establish whether easily measured physiologic and environmental parameters can effectively predict heat strain-related cognitive impairment among miners. Kristin Yeoman 0
Predicting Heat Strain in Underground Metal and Nonmetal Miners A project to identify and test the physiologic and environmental measurement tools and data collection instruments needed to assess heat strain among miners. Kristin Yeoman 1
Real-time method to characterize a mine fire using atmospheric monitoring systems and MFIRE 3.0 A project to provide a real-time method for determining the size and location of an underground mine fire, and the spread of smoke and toxic gases throughout the mine ventilation network, using data from atmospheric monitoring systems (AMS) and MFIRE 3.0. Lihong Zhou 0
Reducing Machine Guarding-Related Injuries in Mining A pilot project to assess the types of injuries mine workers sustain when handling machine covers and guards and to determine the focus of future machine cover and guard redesign efforts. Jonisha Pollard 1
Reducing Silica and other Respirable Hazards in the Industrial Minerals and Metal/Nonmetal Mining Industries A project to develop control interventions to reduce occupational exposure to silica and other respirable dusts in metal/nonmetal mines and mills. Justin Patts, Andrew Cecala 0
Respirable Dust Control for Surface Mines A project to reduce respirable silica dust exposure in surface mines through improved understanding of dust generation and transport, improvement of current control technologies, and development of new control technologies. William R. Reed 1
Respirable Dust Control Methods on Continuous Mining Operations A project to develop and evaluate control technologies to reduce respirable dust exposures for operators of roof bolters and continuous mining machines. John A. Organiscak 1
Self-Escape from Underground Coal Mines Training Initiative A project to characterize the essential components of the mine emergency escape system and develop interventions designed to improve system preparedness and self-escape training of underground coal mining personnel. Cassandra Hoebbel 0
Slip, Trip and Fall Hazard Identification and Remediation In Surface Mining Facilities A pilot project to complete a preliminary characterization of slip and fall risk factors at surface mine facilities to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a taxonomy of risk factors and to inform the development of a more detailed study. Mahiyar Nasarwanji 1
Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazard Identification, Investigation, and Remediation at Surface Mining Facilities A project that adopts a multifaceted approach to investigate slips, trips, and falls (STF), develops tools to identify, report, and remediate STF hazards, and provides recommendations on ingress/egress systems on mobile mining equipment and footwear. Mahiyar Nasarwanji 0
Smart Ventilation to Control Airborne Pollutants and Physical Stressors in Underground Metal/Nonmetal Mines A project to develop and implement effective interventions to control diesel particulate matter, dust, and other respirable contaminants generated and liberated in the metal/nonmetal mining industry. Chris Pritchard 1
Stability Evaluation of Active Gas Wells in Longwall Abutment Pillars A project to evaluate and quantify subsurface overburden deformations in longwall abutment pillars under shallow overburden depths, and to employ field instrumentation results and 3D numerical modeling to identify critical parameters. Wen (Daniel) Su 0
Support Design Procedures for Difficult Ground Conditions A project to develop engineering guidelines for support design that will reduce groundfall fatalities under supported roof in underground coal mines. Essie Esterhuizen 1
Surveillance & Statistics A project to develop and strengthen the use of surveillance data to identify priorities, trends, and emerging issues within the mining industry. Linda McWilliams 0
Underground Coal, Metal, and Nonmetal Mine Illumination Systems for Improving Miner Visual Performance A project to improve mine illumination such that a mine worker's visual performance improves to better recognize slip/trip/fall hazards and pinning/striking hazards from moving machinery. John J. Sammarco, Ph.D. 1
Underground Stone Mine Pillar Design in Challenging Conditions A project to build the framework for expanding pillar design criteria into challenging environments by undertaking pillar response investigations in representative conditions at case study mine sites. Brent Slaker 0
Ventilation of Longwall Faces A project to improve the capabilities to detect changing ventilation conditions along a longwall face arising from poor roof caving characteristics and increasing face length. Steven Schatzel 0
Ventilation to Control Contaminants in Metal/NonMetal Mining Operations A project to deliver practices, methodologies, and strategies to the industry to improve ventilation effectiveness in underground metal/nonmetal (M/NM) operations to increase control of airborne contaminants in deep mines. Chris Pritchard 1
Virtual Reality to Train and Assess Emergency Responders A research project designed to determine optimal use of virtual reality (VR) technologies for training and assessing mine emergency responders. Cassandra L. Hoebbel 1
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