The marked decrease in disasters, injuries, and illnesses in the mining industry is due to the work of many, including mining companies and their managers, unions and their representatives, equipment suppliers, and engineering service firms, as well as personnel in government and academic institutions. Government agencies and academics provide important input to the plan-do-check-act (or continuous improvement) control cycle. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Program is the only federal agency doing health and safety research for the mining industry.
This chapter provides a description of the overall Mining Program in the context of the evaluation flow chart (Figure 1-1). The first five major headings (Goal Definition and Project Selection, Inputs, Activities, Technology Transfer, and Outputs) correspond with boxes A-D, respectively, in Figure 1-1, although technology transfer is considered a subset of box C in that figure. The final major heading (Factors Affecting Relevance) addresses specific topics listed in the framework document (Appendix A) that may impact the program’s goal selection, impact, or relevance. Much of the information in this chapter was derived while evaluating the Mining Program’s seven strategic research areas, detailed in Part II, Chapters 8-14.