Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-128, IC 9520, 2010-Feb; :1-88
This publication provides an historical overview of research undertaken by the U.S. federal government over the last 100 years to improve the health and safety of our nation's miners. Federal research efforts began with the establishment of the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM, or the Bureau) in 1910. They have continued over the past century, even after the Bureau's closure in 1996. It is hoped that this publication will give the reader an appreciation for the work of mining health and safety researchers over the past century, and of the miners served by this research. Although not a comprehensive history, this report highlights the key organizational changes made within the Bureau and the federal government that affected mining safety and health research. Some mention is also made of Bureau research not directly related to mining health and safety. Note that the work classified as safety and health research has varied over the last century. For example, before 1970 the Bureau separated mining research and safety and health research. At that time, mining research included ground control and methane drainage because they had direct implications for mine safety. Explosives research was also reported separately from health and safety, even though permissible explosives research was obviously related to safety. Therefore, where budget figures from the Bureau are mentioned in this report, it is often not possible to separate safety and health research from other types of research. This history is generally chronological, with a few exceptions. Because of their prominence and direct links to Bureau research, most of the Public Health Service mining studies completed before 1970, when NIOSH was established, will be discussed in a single section, even though the work spanned many decades. Likewise, for convenience, the brief histories of the Bureau's mining research centers are located in one section.