NIOSH Responds to Need for Knee-Injury Prevention in Low-Seam Mines

Knee injuries associated with working in low-seam mines have been a longstanding problem for the U.S. mining industry. Accident statistics from the Mine Safety and Health Administration indicate that more than 50 percent of all knee musculoskeletal injuries occur in coal mining. Statistics also suggest that coal miners who incur a knee injury are away from work a median of 25 days, 10 days longer than those who are off for back injuries.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Pittsburgh Research Laboratory says that one of its primary objectives is educating the workforce about possible interventions to reduce the risk of knee injuries. Toward achieving that goal, NIOSH researchers, along with industry and academia, have developed a training package to educate the mining community about some possible interventions beyond kneepads that may be used to help decrease knee injury rates.

Key areas addressed in the new training package include: symptoms of knee injuries, protecting knees while at work, and protecting knees for a lifetime. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pubreference/outputid2716.htm.

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