Expert Report

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

The U.S. mining sector has the highest fatality rate of any industry in the country. Fortunately, advances made over the past three decades in mining technology, equipment, processes, procedures, and workforce education and training have significantly improved safety and health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Safety and Health Research Program (Mining Program) has played a large role in these improvements. An assessment of the relevance and impact of NIOSH Mining Program research by a National Research Council committee reveals that the program makes essential contributions to the enhancement of health and safety in the mining industry. To further increase its effectiveness, the Mining Program should proactively identify workplace hazards and establish more challenging and innovative goals toward hazard reduction. The ability of the program to successfully expand its activities, however, depends on available funding.

Key Messages

  • Mining Program outputs are accepted and incorporated into stakeholder operations.
  • Mining Program research and training programs are vital to continued improvements to health and safety in the workplace.
  • The committee concludes that Mining Program research focuses on high-priority areas and is adequately connected to improvements in the workplace.
  • The program is moderately involved in transfer activities.
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