Mining Project: Tailoring Opioid Awareness Training Resources for the Mining Industry

Principal Investigator
Start Date 12/13/2022

In collaboration with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the objective of this pilot project is to engage the mining industry through a participatory evaluation approach to facilitate the tailoring of opioid awareness training resources and guidance for mine operators and other interested parties.

Topic Area

Research Summary


Workers in the mining industry exhibit among the highest rates of substance use, misuse, and overdose relative to other industries. Industry constituents recognize the urgency to respond to the opioid crisis at an organizational level yet have expressed that they lack the knowledge and resources to effectively respond. Across the industry, especially in the U.S., there is very little research on the implementation and effectiveness of opioid prevention and recovery support strategies. The primary aim of this pilot project is to engage the mining industry through a participatory developmental evaluation approach to facilitate the tailoring of opioid worker training resources and guidance for mining operators to use in work-related settings.

With a particular focus on the NIOSH Miner Health Partnership, researchers will engage a diversity of industry partners to ensure that resources are tailored for mining and reflect the needs, implementation challenges, and opportunities related to workplace opioid prevention and recovery support expressed by the mining community. Project researchers will collaborate with academic and other NIOSH researchers engaged in substance use research in similar industries (e.g., construction) to broaden the understanding of prevention strategies, resources, and lessons learned. Project researchers will integrate and synthesize existing research and prevention resources using mining community feedback to tailor the resources for mining. The drafted resources will be shared with MSHA collaborators.

Milestones and Accomplishments

Description Audience Year
Hosted and facilitated 7 working sessions with participants of the NIOSH Miner Health Partnership

Mining industry community partners


Produced summary report of key themes and implications for designing prevention resources shared with the NIOSH Miner Health Partnership and MSHA Government (MSHA) and mining industry community partners


Will develop MSHA-NIOSH co-branded prevention implementation guide: “Workplace Opioid Prevention Strategies for the Mining Industry”

Mine operation health and safety professionals and management, labor representatives, and other collaborators 2024

Planned Impacts and Outcomes

MSHA will use the feedback and suggestions conveyed in project reports to revise the existing resources being used to draft the employer resource guide for managing workplace opioid use and misuse. This collaboration with MSHA has been proven to be valuable, increasing the potential for continued collaboration on this and related topics. Direct participation from the NIOSH Miner Health Partnership helped support learning among members and facilitated broader dissemination and adoption of resources, while also producing knowledge that can be applied in the work environment and roles of the Partnership members. Further, this pilot project will help inform future Miner Health Program research, particularly related to strengthening organizational capacity to implement comprehensive prevention strategies and promote holistic health and safety cultures.


Internally referred to as the “employer resource guide,” the primary intended outcome of this research is an MSHA-NIOSH co-branded document that provides key guidance to mining industry operators for implementing a range of opioid prevention strategies across the continuum of care (i.e., primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention). This will be an MSHA-led document, likely to be posted on the MSHA website as part of the “Miner Health Matters” initiative, enabling easy accessibility. The development of this document will inform the tailoring of training resources for mine workers and development of additional supportive resources in the future to complement the employer resource guide.

Page last reviewed: November 29, 2023
Page last updated: November 29, 2023