Mining Program Strategic Plan, 2019-2023 - Letter from the Associate Director for Mining
The Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) is an Office within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that is tasked with developing knowledge and technology advances for ensuring the well-being of mine workers. We perform this important work in close collaboration with many stakeholders including mine workers, industry, labor, trade associations, academia, government, and other public and private organizations as well as the occupational health and safety community at large. These relationships ensure that the NIOSH Mining Program focuses taxpayer dollars on solving the highest priority mine worker health and safety challenges.
In order to inform our stakeholders and the public about our current and future plans, we have written an updated five-year Strategic Plan (2019–2023). As in the previous version of the Plan, we remain stakeholder-driven with a mining subsector approach that includes coal, crushed stone, sand and gravel, metal, and industrial minerals. This approach allows us to focus our program to better address the health and safety challenges that are unique to each subsector.
The current version of the Strategic Plan was updated in November 2019 to reflect changing stakeholder priorities and needs as well to be responsive to changes in the regulatory agenda. Compared to the version published in 2018, 18 new research projects were added to the Plan, with new avenues of research including building an evidence-based framework for miner health, compatibility of electromagnetic devices being used in underground mines, the suitability and efficiency of monitoring and control solutions to help lower respirable crystalline silica exposure, and using day-to-day health and safety leading indicator data to identify trends and predict health and safety outcomes. Although the plan has been updated, as with the original Strategic Plan, our research continues to be driven by both our mission—“To eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions”—and our core values of relevance, impact, innovation, integrity, collaboration, and excellence. With this focus on our mission and our core values, we are dedicated to achieving our overall vision of safe mines and healthy workers.
Three overarching strategic goals guide the research program. The goals are to: (1) reduce mine workers’ risk of occupational illnesses, (2) reduce mine workers’ risk of traumatic injuries and fatalities, and (3) reduce the risk of mine disasters and improve post-disaster survivability of mine workers. The research program includes the intramural program, which is primarily conducted at the Spokane Mining Research Division and the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division, in concert with mining-related research performed by our colleagues in Morgantown, Cincinnati, and Denver, along with the extramural program, which includes our outside partners that are involved in mining health and safety research.
This Strategic Plan aligns with the latest version of the NIOSH Strategic Plan and demonstrates our commitment to collaborating with our peers within the Institute to ensure the highest quality research for the mining community. As we face greater challenges to achieve meaningful and timely results in an ever more complex world, we will continue to expand our program to enhance the use of multidisciplinary and cross-divisional teams.
Jessica E. Kogel, PhD
Associate Director for Mining