Black Lung

Category archives for Black Lung

Whopping exaggeration by coal industry about black lung regulations

The coal industry made wild claims about its inability to comply with a proposed MSHA regulation to protect miners from developing black lung disease. Two years after the rules took affect, we see the magnitude of the industry’s exaggeration.

Mining is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, with more than 600 workers dying in fatal workplace incidents between 2004 and the beginning of July. And many more miners die long after they’ve left the mines from occupational illnesses such as black lung disease, while others live with the debilitating aftermath of workplace injuries. Today, researchers know a great deal about the health risks miners face on the job, but some pretty big gaps remain.

Coal miner, newly retired, but not as miners’ safety rep

Flip Wilson retired months ago after 40 years as a coal miner. Co-workers designated him as their safety representative. He drives 70 miles roundtrip to accompany mine inspectors and ensure the company is following the law.

Appeals Court rejects coal industry complaints, upholds health protections for miners

In a decision issued yesterday, the US Court of Appeals rejected the National Mining Association’s legal challenge to a Labor Department regulation to better protect coal miners from developing black lung disease.

Who’s paying the cost of lung transplants for work-related lung diseases?

Some disabled coal miners have received lung transplants as a treatment for black lung disease. It’s clearly a work-related illness, but workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t seem to be paying the bill for the $1 million procedure.

Re-run from July 27, 2015:Dr. Donald Rasmussen, 87, spent more than 50 years in Appalachia treating coal miners with lung disease. He was at the forefront of efforts during the 1960’s to challenge the establishment’s views that exposure to coal mine dust damaged miners’ lungs.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The Center for Public Integrity investigates occupational illness and the workers’ compensation system; federal officials accuse coal mining operator of worker retaliation; OSHA penalties finally rise to meet inflation; and low-wage workers go on strike across the nation for better wages.

Donald Rasmussen: Coal miners’ physician, humble man

Dr. Donald Rasmussen, 87, spent more than 50 years in Appalachia treating coal miners with lung disease. He was at the forefront of efforts during the 1960’s to challenge the establishment’s views that exposure to coal mine dust damaged miners’ lungs.

The Department of Labor proposes a new rule to help miners with black lung disease; federal lawmakers introduce new hike to the minimum wage; worker safety outreach in Houston highlights the impact of new reporting rules; and a new museum is opening in honor of coal miners.

Coal dust, lung disease and 5 months of a new worker safety rule

MSHA fought for 20 year to eliminate the use of an average over multiple shifts to characterize miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust. It seems strange now to read MSHA announce the success of a new coal dust regulation by reporting the annual average coal mine dust levels.