Archives:NIOSH Article: A Century of Mining Safety and Health Research


This article was published in the January 2010 issue of Mining Engineering magazine and describes the history of mine safety regulations from 1910 to 2010. The impetus for improved mine safety began as a result of the disasters at the Monongah Mine (1907) and the Cherry Mine (1909). These disasters led Congress to create the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) in 1910. The article describes the influence the USBM has had in significantly reducing mining fatalities through safety research and the proposition of congressional acts, such as the Coal Mine Inspection Act (1941), the Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Safety Act (1966), the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (1977) and the New Emergency Response Act (2006). The USBM was closed in 1995, but the Mine Safety and Health Research Unit was transferred to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH).“A Century of Mining Safety and Health Research” concludes with a list of some of the USBM’s health and safety innovations that have received R&D magazine’s prestigious Top 100 Awards.


A Century of Mine Safety and Health Research, by John A. Breslin (pdf)