International Safety, Health, and Risk Center of Excellence

The ever-increasing rapidity of technological change and global development creates demand for minerals and other extracted products.  As these demands grow, so does the scarcity of raw materials, requiring miners to work in increasingly challenging environments to meet the needs of society. 

The Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources' International Safety, Health, and Risk Center of Excellence (ISHRC) at the University of Arizona is the pre-eminent research, education, and workforce training community that innovates mining methods toward achieving zero injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. 

The ISHRC addresses the most pressing mining safety, health, and risk challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution, including:

  • Safety-focused supervisor leadership
  • Mine rescue and emergency self-escape
  • Optimized miner fitness-for-duty
  • Miner health and disease management
  • Predictive analytics

ISHRC is working with our stakeholders to achieve zero harm to miners by:

1) creating pragmatic and sustainable safety, health, and risk improvements in partnership mining companies;

2) identifying, adapting, and promoting best practices across industry sectors, and

3) improving access to tools, technology, and training so that the smallest mining operators can benefit.

Why UArizona?

  • Legacy of innovative mining research, education, training
  • Strong cross-college mining health and safety collaborations
  • San Xavier Mining Laboratory
  • Proximal operating mines
    • Surface (large and small)
    • Underground (complex)
    • Artisanal
  • Access to international mines
  • Tucson - unique technology hub
  • Perfect testing ground
    • 4 of 5 climatic zones
    • Elevations -7000 to >12,000 ft

Three Types of Coursework:


• Emergency Resiliency

• Basic Subterranean Rescue

• Advanced Subterranean Rescue

• Human/Machine Interaction

• Ergonometrics


• Respiratory Exposures

• Noise Exposure Methods

• Thermal Stress Management

• Implementing Zero Harm

• Measures of Behavioral Health


• Supervisor Leadership

• Blockchains to Mitigate Risk

• Effective Training

• Program Evaluation

• Continuity of Risk Management


Near Term Goals:

1. Develop effective and sustainable heat strain management and mitigation tools for underground and surface mines operating in extreme conditions.

2. Launch version 2.0 of the Mining Institute for Supervisor Leadership (MISL) Program using a multi-modal flipped classroom.

3. Provide open source compendium of ‘best-practices’ in critical controls for metal/non-metal mines that could lead to the most concerning material unwanted events.

Key Personnel


Eric A. Lutz, PhD CMSP BSC

Director, International Safety, Health, and Risk Center of Excellence