CDC Plans Data Collection on Underground Mining Technology

The agency's goal is to use the information to provide insight on the most important barriers faced by organizations that must purchase, use, approve, and manufacture electronic safety technologies for underground mining.

NIOSH announced in a Jan. 17 Federal Register notice that it plans an information collection project, "Assessment of the Market for Electronic Technology for Underground Coal Mining Safety and Health Applications," in order to provide insight on the most important barriers faced by organizations that must purchase, use, approve, and manufacture these safety technologies.

The agency requests written comments on or before March 20, 2017. To submit a comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. CDC-2017-0002 or write to Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Submissions must include the agency name and Docket Number and will be posted without change to regulations.gov.

Underground coal mining in the United States employs about 46,000 workers who operate in a unique and hazardous work environment, potentially exposed to explosive gases and other hazards, NIOSH notes in the notice."The MINER Act of 2006 assigned the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) the responsibility to enhance development of new mine safety and health protection technology and technological applications and to expedite the commercial availability and implementation of such technology. As part of this study, NIOSH seeks to identify the barriers to commercial availability and implementation of such technology in U.S. mines," it states. "Experience to date has shown that there are many issues that the U.S. mining industry faces that create barriers to the availability and implementation of safety technologies, and we believe there are other more subtle reasons that we do not fully understand as a Government research agency. The data are intended to provide insight into what the most important barriers are from the perspective of the organizations that must purchase, use, approve, and manufacture these safety technologies. NIOSH has an understanding of some of these barriers, however NIOSH is not an end user of these products. Thus the goal of the study is to provide a complete perspective of the barriers from the point of view of the mine operators and technology innovators, in order to improve the efficacy of the contract and grant awards that NIOSH administers under the authority of the MINER Act."

NIOSH intends to identify 200 stakeholder organizations for structured interviews and to invite elicit participation from 100 of those.

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