Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme

ECSC-MINEHYG 4C

Successor programme

ECSC-MINEHYG 6C

Programme funding

EUR 11 million
To improve technical methods for controlling and monitoring environmental factors in mines and to study the relationships between these factors and health with a view to making the mining industry as safe and healthy as possible.

Abstract

Pursuant to Article 55 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the Commission is required to promote technical and economic research relating to occupational safety in the coal and steel industries. The funds for this aid are derived from levies imposed on the production of coal and steel as provided for in Article 49 of the ECSC Treaty.

Details on the establishment of the 1983-1988 "Industrial Hygiene in Mines" programme were published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. The programme is a continuation of four earlier research programmes related to dust control and health in mines dating back to 1957 which examined aspects of the prevention of pneumoconiosis as well as the problems posed by mine air pollutants other than dust, notably those arising from the use of diesel powered machinery and explosives underground.

The research concentrated on dust and noxious gases but attention was also given to problems of noise, visibility and climate.

In the field of industrial health and safety the Community also financed ECSC programmes on "Ergonomics", "Chronic respiratory diseases" and "Pollution control in the iron and steel industries". The Community research programmes on coal and in the field of the environment included subjects closely related to industrial hygiene. A Community programme "Safety in Mines" was established in 1976.

Subdivision

Four subprogrammes:

- Control of pollutants:
Related to underground working (longwall, room and pillar, horizontal slicing, steep seams, bunker working, etc.);

- Dust measurement and determination of dust properties:
To examine or to develop recording instruments to provide continuous dust level readings and spot measurements in order to supplement data provided by normal methods;

- Pneumoconiosis and environmental factors:
To conduct epidemiological and other studies to ascertain the long-term effects on the respiratory system of protracted exposure to dust and other pollutants;

- Noise and vibrations:
To conduct research into noise reduction at source, moving the workforce away from noise sources, noise insulation and remote control techniques, and to combine it with research on noise level measurement and hearing loss.

Implementation

The Commission was responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by three Committees: the Research Committee, the Committee of Producers and Workers on Industrial Safety and Medicine and the Committee of Government Experts.

Research was carried out by mining research institutes in the Community Member States. Research project applications were required to reach the Commission by 1 October of each year in order to be examined and, where appropriate, financed during the following year. The duration of projects ranged from two to three years, with Community aid covering up to 75% of the costs. The funds available under the programme enabled financial aid to be granted to 66 research projects, several of which were joint ventures involving institutes from different Member States. The last of these were completed in 1990.

The dissemination of information was entrusted to the members of the above-mentioned committees of experts. For wider dissemination, the abstract published by the Commission gave information of the research undertaken, results of research and patents arisen.
At the end of the programme, a full synthesis report was drawn up and widely disseminated. In some cases, symposia for specific categories of mines personnel were organized by the Commission.
Record Number: 232 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05