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Mining safety and health research initiatives in the United States.

Kohler JL
31st International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, 2-5 October 2005, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Redbank, Queensland, Australia: Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station (Simtars), 2005 Oct; :10-16
Overall, the safety and health of U.S. mineworkers has never been better. This is largely due to the concerted efforts of labor unions, trade associations, manufacturers, universities, and government agencies. Despite the progress, however, mining is occurring under more adverse conditions in some sectors, and mining methods and equipment are evolving. These are resulting in different or increased risks, and this requires a proactive approach to ensure that safety or health conditions do not worsen. Increasing societal expectations for "zero accidents" necessitates renewed efforts to understand the underlying causes of occupational injuries and illnesses and to develop effective interventions to prevent them. Concurrently, financial resources for research are diminishing, while customer expectations for new health and safety solutions are increasing. This paper describes an approach to improve mineworker safety and health through a targeted research program that is focused on the development and implementation of successful interventions. The research needs of the U.S. mining community, as defined by the surveillance data and stakeholder groups, are presented. A process to match heretofore unobtainable customer needs with research barriers is summarized, and the resulting research portfolio is highlighted. Then, specific examples are given in the areas of disaster prevention, cumulative trauma, and respiratory hazards, among others.
Safety-research; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Hazards; Mining-industry; Mine-workers; Mining-equipment; Surveillance-programs; Disaster-prevention; Cumulative-trauma; Underground-mining; Health-hazards; Miners; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Hearing-loss; Noise-sources; Noise-exposure; Noise-control; Training; Workers; Noise; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-protection; Hearing-conservation; Coal-mining; Metal-mining; Nonmetal-mining; Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Pneumoconiosis; Occupational-health; Silicosis; Diesel-emissions; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Traumatic-injuries; Demographic-characteristics; Dust-sampling; Ergonomics; Ground-control; Rock-falls; Explosion; Occupational-respiratory-disease
NIOSH Office of the Associate Director for Mining and Construction, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
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31st International Conference of Safety in Mines Research Institutes, 2-5 October 2005, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division