Injuries, illnesses, and hazardous exposures in the mining industry, 1986 -1995: a surveillance report.
This publication represents the first comprehensive surveillance report on injuries and illnesses in the U.S. mining industry. The tracking of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards, documents of the Nation's progress in reducing the burden of work-related diseases and injuries and may help identify old and new problems that require additional research and prevention efforts. It is through surveillance data that we have been able to document that during the 20th century,, deaths in the mining industry dropped approximately 37 fold and injury fatality rated have decreased approximately 13 fold, to 25 per 100,000 during 199601997. Much of this success can be attributed to research, which led to workplace interventions (such as saver equipment and improved ventilation), and regulations. Despite the progress that has been made in reducing the death and injury toll in mining, much work remains to be done. NIOSH is now the only federal agency with a mandate to contract research and prevention activities for all the nation's workers, including the vital mining workforce. Traditional causes of injuries and fatalities and the potential for underground disasters still exist in U.S. mines today. For example, mine roof collapses account for a large portion of underground deaths and injuries. Respirable coal mine dust, which can lead to 'black lung' disease, and harmful noise levels remain persistent health concerns. In addition, the introduction of new mining technologies may create new hazards non yet recognized in the field.