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Introduction; Injuries, Illnesses, And Hazardous Exposures In The Mining Industry,1986-1995: A Surveillance Report
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    This surveillance report summarizes data on work-related fatal and nonfatal injuries, illnesses, and hazardous exposures in the mining industry for the 10-year period 1986-1995. The term "surveillance," as used in public health, may be new to many readers of this report. With regard to occupational safety and health, the goal of surveillance is to describe the occurrence of work-related injuries, illnesses, and known hazardous exposures; to identify new hazards that may occur due to the introduction of new technology or other factors; and to assess the effects of preventive measures designed to improve worker safety and health. Surveillance provides an overall picture, which can be used to focus resources on areas most in need of prevention programs or further research. Surveillance generally requires the use of multiple sources of data, all of which have their own strengths and limitations. Surveillance in the U. S. mining industry is complicated by the fact that U.S. national data systems that provide information on mining are based on two different definitions of the mining industry. One is established by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the other by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System [Office of Management and Budget 1987] and the 1980 U. S. Bureau of the Census (BOC) Classification System [U.S. Bureau of the Census 1982]. The mining industry as defined by MSHA is based on the regulatory jurisdiction of that agency. Reporting requirements for injuries, illnesses, and workplace exposures are stipulated under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977. Of note is that the oil and gas extraction industry falls outside of MSHA jurisdiction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was charged with enforcement in the oil and gas industry under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Under the SIC, the definition of mining covers the extraction of naturally occurring minerals, including liquids (petroleum), gases (natural gas) and solids (coal, metal, and nonmetallic minerals). Exploration and development of mineral properties are also included in the SIC definition of the mining industry. The SIC was developed by the Office of Management and Budget for use in classifying establishments based on the type of economic activity in which they are engaged and serves as the industry classification standard for all establishment based Federal economic statistics. This classification is important for occupational safety and health surveillance because it also serves as the industry classification system for all data on work-related injuries and illnesses collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The U.S. Bureau of the Census uses an industry coding scheme similar to that used by the SIC. For the mining industry, the categorization is identical in both systems. Death certificate data made available by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) are categorized under this system. Death certificate data are particularly important for surveillance of mortality from work-related illnesses. Key differences between the SIC/BOC categorization system and the MSHA system can be summarized as follows: • MSHA excludes the oil and gas industry, which is classified as part of the mining industry under SIC/BOC. • MSHA excludes work that is done off of mine property; work off of mine property is included under SIC/BOC if it is performed by an establishment falling into one of the SIC/BOC mining industry codes. • MSHA includes mine-associated mills and processing plants; these are classified under the manufacturing industry, rather than mining, according to the SIC/BOC coding structure. Since the data collected by MSHA and the data collected by BLS and NCHS using the SIC/BOC classification system are both important sources of information on the mining industry and in many cases serv

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