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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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    In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions.” In passing this landmark legislation, Congress developed a two-pronged approach to meet this ambitious goal: research concerning the causes of occupational injuries and illnesses and based on that research, the development and enforcement of standards to remove those hazards from the workplace. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to perform the enforcement function and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to perform the research function. NIOSH has dedicated itself to that research function throughout its 25-year history.

    Congress has reiterated and enhanced the NIOSH research function twice in the last 20 years with regard to occupational safety and health in mines. With the 1977 amendments to the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act and the 1995 consolidation of the U.S. Bureau of Mines safety and health research with NIOSH, Congress gave NIOSH responsibilities in mining that paralleled its work for the rest of industry.

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