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Program Of Research - A Summary Of Research In Progress During Fiscal Years 98 - Introduction
  • Published Date:
    0/1/1900
Filetype[PDF - 4.25 MB]


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  • Description:
    The Program of Mine Safety and Health Research described in this document reflects the continuing commitment of the Spokane and Pittsburgh Research Laboratories to focus on the most important areas where research can make a difference in reducing risk and improving safety and health for miners. It is the first program of work conducted since Congress mandated closure of the former U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) in the Department of the Interior and supported integration of the health and safety research function of the former USBM into the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Organizational changes made FY97 a challenging year of transition. Ongoing research was reviewed and revised to reflect the new, more limited, health and safety mandate of the research laboratories. The mining industry, mine worker representatives, and interested government agencies provided broad input to assure that the research performed would focus on the most critical safety and health problems confronting mining today and which are expected to be faced in the future. The two laboratories worked to evolve coordinated programs of safety and health research, each with a special focus. The work of the Spokane Research Laboratory is directed toward issues of special importance to the Western mining industry, particularly those safety hazards found in metal/nonmetal mining and surface mining. The work of the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory will continue to focus on Eastern mining, particularly underground coal mining. Traditional areas of expertise for understanding and preventing fires and explosions and for controlling the hazards of dust and noise will continue to reside in Pittsburgh. Each laboratory is developing new capabilities in the analysis of relevant safety and health information to assure that program priority-setting decisions are informed by the best available data. Recognizing the continuing importance of communicating the results of research to all who are capable of improving safety and health conditions in mining, each laboratory has developed an activity for information dissemination and coordination with stakeholders. In the midst of organizational self-examination and change, the research staff in Pittsburgh and Spokane have never wavered from their continuing commitment to conduct the highest quality scientific research-solution-oriented scientific work meant to reduce the risk of injury, disease, and death from occupational hazards in mining. The pages that follow give insight into some of the program activities and accomplishments from FY97. I hope you share my pride in the many accomplishments of the NIOSH mine safety and health research program during this year. This report comes at a time of increasing stability for the mine health and safety research program. The organizational changes in Spokane and Pittsburgh have been concluded, and NIOSH has succeeded in recruiting a new, permanent associate director for mining to lead this critically important national program. Congress has contributed to an optimistic future by providing expanded funding for NIOSH mining-related research for the next fiscal year. On a personal note, I greatly appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve as the NIOSH Acting Associate Director for Mining during this transitional year. The commitment and intelligence with which the mining research staff pursued their mission was matched by their patience and understanding in moving into a new organizational environment. All of us committed to improved safety and health for this Nation's miners owe them our respect and appreciation.

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