Coal Workers’ X-ray Surveillance Program

Coal miners or contractors working for underground or surface mines can receive the following services for free:

Mining companies should implement the following:

  • Voluntary examinations every 5 years with a 6-month window if the miner was employed at a coal mine on or before August 1, 2014.
  • Mandatory examinations for new miners who begin work as a coal miner or contractor for the first time. This includes:
    • Pre-employment screening or within 30 days of starting employment
    • Examinations within 3 years after initial examinations

If a chest x-ray shows evidence of pneumoconiosis or spirometry results indicate decreased lung function, follow-up exams must be provided within 2 years if the miner is still working in coal mining.

All facilities that perform chest x-rays required for the CWHSP must be approved by NIOSH. Current NIOSH-approved facilities do not need to submit a new application. They should continue to submit x-rays and supporting documents as required.

Facilities applying for approval to provide chest x-rays to the CWHSP (underground and surface coal miners) should review the regulations outlined in 42CFR Part 37 Specifications of Medical Examinations of Underground Coal Miners. Facilities interested in NIOSH approval should contact the CWHSP for an approval packet, which details the requirements. Facilities may be approved for x-ray only, spirometry only, or both x-ray and spirometry.

Information on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA’s) final rule on respirable coal mine dust exposure: