September 30, 2021

NIOSH Recognizes Organizations for Innovations to Protect Health, Safety of Mine Workers

Four organizations are the recipients of NIOSH’s 2021 Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Awards, which recognize the efforts of companies to apply technology or enhance processes in ways that improve the health and safety of mine workers. The winners comprise organizations from four mining industry sectors: industrial minerals, coal, metal, and stone, sand, and gravel. Two of the companies are being recognized for developing new safety tools and systems, while the other two are being honored for establishing new health protocols to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matrix Design Group won in the coal category for combining multiple technologies to improve proximity detection for battery scoops in underground mines, and Lehigh Hanson Lowrys Quarry won the stone, sand, and gravel award for retrofitting a haul truck to comply with ISO 23875, a standard for mining that specifies performance and design requirements for air quality control systems for operator enclosures and their monitoring devices, and improving air quality in the cab. Coeur Mining, Inc., was recognized in the metal category for implementing a comprehensive pandemic response plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at their work sites. And in the industrial minerals category, Imerys Performance Minerals Americas–North American Division was honored for introducing contact-tracing technology at their work sites to manage social distancing and track exposures to COVID-19.

NIOSH accepts nominations throughout the year for this awards series. Organizations are encouraged to self-apply. More information is available on NIOSH’s website.

Related: In 2020, the AIHA Mining Working Group provided technical input on the development of ISO 23875. The new standard has significant implications for the occupational health of mining equipment operators. Read more in “A Standard to Help Protect Miners” in the June/July 2021 Synergist.