Mining Project: Identifying, Assessing, and Analyzing Data to Improve Miners' Health

Principal Investigator
Start Date 10/1/2023

Comprehensive and specific data on the burden, patterns, and trends of health conditions and hazard exposures in the mining industry are needed to guide and measure the impact of the NIOSH Miner Health Program (MHP). The overall research rationale is to maintain the use of hazard and health (surveillance) data to guide/improve workplace policies and procedures, thereby informing priorities for research and interventions to reduce occupational illness and exposures among workers and improve miners’ health and well-being.

Topic Area

Research Summary


This project will use the health data assessment framework that was developed in the fiscal years 2019-2023 NIOSH project “Building an Evidence-Based Framework for Improving Miners’ Health” (hereafter, “EBF”) that preceded this project. Within this framework, researchers developed a Data Inventory Form to assess and evaluate mine worker health- and exposure-related datasets of interest. The form contains 23 questions ranging from sampling scheme and industry and occupation coding to years and data available.

As researchers continue to assess datasets (both new datasets and datasets that are already being used), research questions will be generated, focusing on hazards, exposures, and health conditions. Researchers will use a variety of methodological and analytical approaches, including new, novel methods and those found to be most appropriate from the previous EBF. Researchers will disseminate their project findings through several channels, including journal manuscripts, web content, and presentations. Applying new analytical and visualization methods is another aim of this project and will be explored in collaboration with health communications researchers to inclusively communicate the research findings and evaluate their impact.

Milestones and Accomplishments

Description Audience Year
Complete public-facing webpage for project

Public—all audiences


Complete and publish journal articles on project research Academia, government, mining industry trade organizations & professional organizations

2024, 2026, 2028

Complete and publish science blog and trade publications (non-journal article products)

Mining health & safety administrators, occupational health providers, health & safety professionals, mining operators, equipment manufacturers 2027

Planned Impacts and Outcomes

The research project directly contributes to the NIOSH Miner Health Program Strategic Agenda by conducting etiologic, surveillance, exposure, and intervention research that advances protection from work-related health hazards and addresses the overall well-being of miners. It also serves to help guide the MHP research activities by identifying areas of concern and miner health needs.

The project will maintain an evidence-based framework for better monitoring and reporting of miners’ health and hazard exposures as well as identifying knowledge gaps. By continuing to describe the health status and prevalence of health risk behaviors among mine workers, this project will help generate new research questions and hypotheses to be explored under other proposed (interventional) research projects.

With some baseline information gleaned during the EBF project time frame, the health data analyzed under the current project will continue to inform the current status of miners’ health and tracking over time, in addition to potential emerging threats or trends. Information derived from this project will be useful in developing health and safety practices and interventions directed at miners in addition to characterizing the impacts of new or existing policies. This research will cumulatively lead to the ends goals of reducing occupational health conditions among workers, reducing chronic disease mortality, and improving miners’ health and well-being.


The project research will be disseminated in multiple ways, both conventional and novel. Project researchers will write peer-reviewed manuscripts and present the research findings at conferences. The project team will also write translational publications such as science blogs and trade publications. At the end of the project, researchers will prepare a white paper with an overall summary of findings and recommendations for future research to be conducted by NIOSH.

Project researchers will also explore novel ways of disseminating the project research. The project team will work collaboratively with representatives in labor and industry through the Miner Health Partnership and Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee (MSHRAC) to receive input on how best to communicate research findings. The project team will use innovative data visualization methods, best practices, and design standards to optimize graphics for web and mobile delivery. The aim is to test all materials for usability and accessibility. Researchers will use multiple methods to generate interest in the research findings—for example, webpages, social media posts, infographics, partner emails, or newsletters to be distributed at worksites.

Page last reviewed: November 30, 2023
Page last updated: November 27, 2023