Pillar design is the first line of defense against rock falls--the greatest single safety hazard faced by underground coal miners in the United States and abroad. To help advance the state of the art in this fundamental mining science, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health organized the Second International Workshop on Coal Pillar Mechanics and Design. The workshop was held in Vail, CO, on June 6, 1999, in association with the 37th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium. The proceedings include 15 papers from leading ground control specialists in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of South Africa. The papers address the entire range of issues associated with coal pillars and have a decidedly practical flavor. Topics include numerical modeling, empirical design formulas based on case histories, field measurements, and postfailure mechanics.