“The first priority and concern of all in the coal or other mining industry must be the health and safety of its most precious resource – the miner.”

(Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, amended 1977)

The NIOSH Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) was established by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 to prevent early coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) from progressing to a disabling disease. Through the program, eligible miners can obtain periodic chest radiographs. NIOSH has administered the  program since its inception in 1970.

In accordance with the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA’s) recently-published final rule on respirable coal mine dust exposureExternal, NIOSH has expanded its national program of health surveillance for coal miners to include periodic lung function testing (called spirometry), respiratory health assessment questionnaires, and extended health surveillance to workers at surface coal mines.

Page last reviewed: June 4, 2018