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Kohler JL
Textbook of clinical occupational and environmental medicine, second edition. Rosenstock L, Cullen M, Brodkin C, Redlich C, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, 2005 Jan; :201-214
Mining is a basic industry, providing modern society with the energy and material resources required for everyday life as we have come to enjoy it. Minerals production can be divided into two general phases. The extraction phase is concerned with removing the material from the earth; the processing phase separates the valuable component from the less valuable or waste material. The term "mining" is used to describe the extraction phase, while processing is used to describe the phase of preparing the product for human use. Usually, the workers involved in both phases are called miners or mineworkers. In its simplest definition, mining includes all of the job processes required to produce a mineral commodity in salable form. In the course of meeting society's direct and multifaceted needs for mineral commodities, mineworkers have been killed, others have suffered lost-time injuries, and still others have endured the silent progression of occupational illnesses brought on by excess exposures to noise, dust, or other potentially harmful substances. At the end of the 19th century, mining fatalities within the United States numbered greater than 2,000 per year; today the figure is less than 100 per year. Similar reductions have occurred for many injury classes and occupational illnesses. In some parts of the world, these metrics are slightly better than in the United States and in other parts are far worse. Efforts within the United States by organized labor and progressive companies, research in university and government labs, and increasingly stringent regulations by state and federal agencies have all had a positive impact on mineworkers. Nonetheless, mining occurs under extremely difficult, and sometimes unpredictable, physical and environmental conditions.
Mining-industry; Minerals; Miners; Mineral-processing; Mine-workers; Mineral-deposits; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Lost-work-days; Traumatic-injuries; Geology; Underground-mining; Underground-miners; Coal-mining; Coal-miners; Room-and-pillar-mining; Longwall-mining; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Respirable-dust; Silica-dusts; Hearing-loss; Surface-mining; Health-hazards; Hazards; Safety-research; Metal-mining; Dusts; Stone-mines; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Lung-disease; Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Pneumoconiosis; Silicosis; Heat-stress; Fumes; Gases; Diesel-exhausts; Stress; Fatigue; Shift-work; Nonmetal-mining; Metals; Gold-mines; Sand-and-gravel-mines; Materials-handling; Back-injuries; Black-lung; Coal-dust; Coal-workers; Mining-equipment; Knee-disorders; Heat-stroke; Occupational-health; Molds; Workers
NIOSH Office of the Associate Director for Mining and Construction, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
Document Type
Rosenstock L; Cullen MR; Brodkin CA; Redlich CA
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Textbook of clinical occupational and environmental medicine, second edition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division