New tool connects miners with vital health resources

Wearing a work glove, a miner’s hand can be seen holding a mobile device and using the MSHA Safety + Health App.


Imagine this scenario: John, a miner in his late 30s, realizes he has developed shortness of breath, and his symptoms have been getting worse. A fellow miner recommends that John get evaluated to check for lung disease or other issues. John agrees this is a good idea but isn’t sure how to quickly find care options. 

In response to scenarios like this, the Department of Labor’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) worked collaboratively with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to design and develop the Health Resource Locator Tool, which provides quick access to health services and treatment centers tailored to miners' unique needs. It is accessible via and the award-winning Miner Safety & Health app

How Does It Work?

The tool uses location services to help miners quickly find nearby health services and specialists. This includes treatment centers for exposure to occupational hazards, substance abuse, and mental health care. Users simply need to:

  • Enter their search criteria: Mine name or mine identification number, city, state or ZIP code, and search radius.

  • View results: The results are sorted by user preference (alphabetically or by distance).

In our scenario, John opens the Miner Safety & Health app on his phone, where the locator tool is seamlessly integrated. The interface is user-friendly, guiding him to enter his details. Almost instantly, the tool provides a list of nearby health services and specialists. He selects a clinic and calls directly from the app to confirm an appointment and get turn-by-turn directions through his phone’s default mapping service. 

OCIO’s Tech Role

The development of the Health Resource Locator Tool involved significant technical teamwork led by OCIO. Here’s how we made it happen.

  • Developing Application Architecture: We designed a robust and intuitive framework to ensure the tool’s reliability and ease of use.

  • Acquiring and Geocoding Datasets: We gathered essential location data and converted it into usable coordinates for the tool.

  • Coordinating the Web User Interface for We ensured a seamless and cohesive online experience for users accessing the tool via the MSHA website, which received more than 3,000 page views at its initial launch. 

  • Configuring and Integrating the Tool into the Miner Safety & Health App: We embedded the tool into the existing app, enhancing its functionality and accessibility. To date, the app has been downloaded 93,313 times since its 2022 debut, including 21,016 downloads since the locator tool’s addition.

The result is a tool that provides real-time information, making it easier for miners to find the health care they need quickly and efficiently. Innovations like these are at the heart of OCIO’s dedication to creating IT solutions that support the department’s mission and serve America’s workers.

For more information on the technology behind tools like this, follow OCIO on LinkedIn. Interested in joining the OCIO team? View available positions and apply today!


Jason Dittrich is with OCIO’s division of health and safety, and Mike Pulsifer is with OCIO’s division of enterprise architecture at the U.S. Department of Labor.