|Description:||From April, 1948, this historic image, provided by the Center for Disease Control's (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), depicted a Chilean miner who was seated inside the confines of a coal mine. The exhaustive work meant a miner needed to take rest breaks, using respites to regain some stamina needed to complete his rigorous tasks. Note that the miner was not wearing any protective breathing mask, gloves, or googles, and his feet were clad in mere sandals, exposing him to numerous potential injuries.|
Today, the Federal government’s stringent regulations on the level of coal dust permissible in the air of a coal mine, and the requisite use of filtered breathing devices, eyewear, boots and gloves, has dramatically lowered the number of cases of black lung disease, blindness, and blunt or abrasive trauma.
The NIOSH Historic Photo Collection began as the “picture file” of the Industrial Hygiene Division of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), c. 1930-1960. It is a unique collection of mid-20th Century images of American workers and workplaces and documents occupational safety and health research of that era. The collection consists of approximately 1,000 original photographs and schematic drawings.