Black Lung

Category archives for Black Lung

“We were in shock. We only wanted to bury our son.”

The Washington Post’s article “Meaningless millions” captures some of the heartbreak experienced when your loved one is killed on the job, but like most things, there’s more to the story.

Investigative reporters team up to expose national disgrace: US coal miners still get black lung

Three of my favorite investigative journalists have worked together to expose a national disgrace: coal miners in the U.S. still develop black lung disease.

If former Massey Energy is now “Running Right,” why keep secret its safety progress report?

Family members of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster say they are still in the dark. The latest example is Alpha Natural Resources failure to make public a progress report required in its non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

New study shows black lung and silicosis among U.S. surface coal miners, not just a problem for underground miners

A x-ray surveillance program finds nearly four dozen cases of coal workers pneumoconiosis among surface coal miners in the U.S., while coal operators including Alpha Natural Resources and CONSOL Energy insist that workers on strip mining jobs aren’t exposed to enough dust to cause disease.

A delegation of family members who lost loved ones in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine met with senators and representatives of both political parties to urge them to pass legislation for stronger penalties for upper-level officials who violate safety laws.

Mitt Romney’s idea of freedom: businesses free to do whatever they darn well please?

Mr. Mitt Romney spoke this weekend at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention and kicked off his remarks applauding the gun-lovers group’s defense of the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. “This fine organization is sometimes called a single-issue group,” Romney said. “That’s high praise when the single issue is freedom. I love my freedom…

Two years ago today, 29 men died in a West Virginia coal mine

“When the world came to an end” is how Joshua Williams described being inside the Upper Big Branch coal mine at 3:02 pm on April 5, 2010. He knew several crews of coal miners were much deeper inside the dark tunnels than he. An ominous feeling. Coal dust explosions are powerful and deadly. Eight days…

Cost of work-related injury and disease higher than cost for heart disease, cancer

Money talks, as the saying goes, and a recently published paper on the annual cost of work-related injuries and illnesses should get policymakers to listen up. The number is staggering: $250 Billion, and it’s a figure on par with health conditions like cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes that attract much more attention and research…

Congressional Appropriators ignore what Upper Big Branch miners showed us about black lung disease

[Updated 1/4/12 below] The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. pointed me yesterday to the latest attack on working people. House and Senate negotiators have apparently come to an agreement on an FY 2012 spending bill (165-page PDF) which includes funding for the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Tacked onto the bill are…

MSHA should scrap any plan to wait for OSHA action on respirable crystalline silica

Before too long the US Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal agencies should be issuing their annual regulatory plans and semi-annual agendas. These documents serve as official public notice of agencies’ regulatory (and deregulatory) priorities. The Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order (EO) 12866 direct agency heads to release these documents in April (agenda)…