five intermediate goals listed in Table 11-1. The strategic goal of reducing traumatic injuries is straightforward and well defined. All five intermediate goals are achievable. In 2006, NIOSH conducted workshops for the second decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA-2) and identified equipment accidents, automation, and training effectiveness as priorities—areas already included in the intermediate goals for traumatic injury prevention research within the Mining Program. Ground failure control research is a separate research area within the Mining Program.
There were 55 fatalities, 8,183 non-fatal-days lost (NFDL) injuries, and 3,867 no days lost (NDL) injuries reported in 2004 (MSHA, 2006). The need for continued reduction of traumatic injuries is evident. Based on MSHA statistics, powered haulage, machinery, and materials handling are specific areas that require attention. With changes in mining technology and equipment size, traumatic injury prevention is likely to demand more attention.
The traumatic injury prevention research group, however, lacks the leadership that facilitates the development of new technologies. Research is essentially applied and stems from new technologies developed by other NIOSH programs; thus, research on traumatic injuries has been limited and does not allow the Mining Program to adequately address immediate mining-specific problems.
Major planning input for traumatic injury prevention research comes from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in the form of accident and injury data. Other sources of planning input include other federal agencies (e.g., directives from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] as they adhere to guidance from federal advisory groups), stakeholders (e.g., labor unions, trade organizations), academia, and state agencies.
The number of personnel working on traumatic injuries ranged from a high of 70 in 1998 to a low of 37 in 2005, with approximately $40 million in total expenditures. During that time, discretionary expenditures ranged from $778,000 to $350,000, and funding for traumatic injury prevention research decreased by 21 percent. In the same period, NIOSH funding increased by 20 percent and full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) decreased by 8 percent. Compared to the overall Mining Program, traumatic injury prevention research has experienced large changes in funding and FTEs. Changes may be due to a greater-than-normal attrition of personnel; goals being achieved in traumatic injury statistics; and increased emphasis on the emerging areas of hearing loss, surveillance, training, and cumulative injuries. With changes in mining conditions, equipment size, and technology, there