NORA Mining Sector Council
The NORA Mining Sector Council brings together individuals and organizations with a shared interest in improving miner safety and health. Council members share information and identify current and emerging safety and health problems facing the mining industry. Contact the Co-chair or NORA Coordinator to volunteer.
The NORA Mining Council identified research priorities for the third decade of NORA (2016-2026) in the National Occupational Research Agenda for Mining. The agenda identifies eight research objectives for the nation.
Research objectives for the nation:
- Reduce the likelihood of disasters in mines
- Improve mine disaster response
- Prevent illness from occupational health hazards
- Improve atmospheric control (ventilation) in mines
- Improve health and safety through behavioral research
- Improve mine designs, systems operations, and management performance to enhance mine health and safety
- Apply ergonomics, also known as human factor engineering, to mining to increase health and safety
For NORA, the Mining Sector is defined by the industry segments coded under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 212: Mining (except Oil and Gas). It includes the coal mining, metal ore mining, and nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying segments of the industry. Support activities are also included. These workers face risks that include:
- Falling materials,
- Powered haulage,
- Electrical equipment, and
- Exposure to particulates and dusts including diesel emissions, coal dust and silica dust.
Improved mining practices, research, and equipment have reduced the frequency of injuries and diseases, but they are still above acceptable industrial levels. The Mine Safety and Health Administration injury statistics indicate that mining is at an all-time low for reportable injuries and fatalities. Given that mining is an inherently dangerous industry, vigilance is still needed.
The Mining Sector of NORA is dedicated to continuing to reduce these incidences through miner health and safety research. The NORA Oil and Gas Extraction Council focuses on workers in industries extracting liquid and gas deposits.
The NIOSH Mining Program facilitates the work of the Council and coordinates NIOSH research in this sector.