More than 1,200 miners could lose their healthcare by the end of the year, unless Congress takes action on the American Miners Act of 2019. Sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin D-W.Va., the measure, Senate Bill 27, would amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to transfer funds to the 1974 United Mine Workers of America Pension Plan.
Bankruptcy laws are expected to free the Westmoreland Mining Company of its responsibilities under the coal act, leaving miners – including those suffering from black lung disease – in the lurch.
An alarming increase in the incidence of the black lung disease among the nation’s coal miners has led to a call by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and the United Steelworkers International Union (USW) for a new standard to protect miners from the silica dust that causes the disease.
In a letter to David Zatezalo, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), UMWA President Cecil Roberts and USW President Leo W. Gerard noted that changes in mining practices have led to increased exposure to silica for miners.
An environmentally friendly diet proposed by scientists that would radically transform food production and the types of food we eat; how the shutdown is affecting federal workers’ mental health and a look back at one of the strangest and deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
With the recent resurgence of the most severe form of black lung disease among coal miners, especially in central Appalachia, understanding and preventing exposure to the respirable, or inhalable, dust generated during the extraction of coal is paramount. Black lung is a form of pneumoconiosis, or scarring lung disease, caused by breathing in dust that can occur with exposure to respirable coal mine dust.
Coal mining is an important part of the U.S. economy. In 2017, about 30% of our electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants. Coal is also used to make steel and in manufacturing many types of products. And anyone who watches the news knows how important the jobs and income provided by coal mining are to our country’s coal mining regions.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has begun offering a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners as part of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease in coal miners caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust.
Happy New Year. As we start afresh in 2017 I wanted to share my recent editorial in the British journal, Occupational Medicine, “Occupational health issues in the USA”. The article highlights some of the occupational safety and health issues identified as needing attention by the industry sector groups of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).
All former and current coal miners in western Virginia are encouraged to take advantage of the free and confidential health screenings the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be offering starting tomorrow.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has issued a final rule that revises the Black Lung Benefits Act in order to give miners greater access to their health information.
Eighteen months after its landmark rule aimed at preventing black lung disease took effect, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is implementing Phase II. Beginning today, underground coal mine operators are required to collect an increased number of coal dust samples, use a continuous personal dust monitor to measure dust levels in real time, and notify miners more quickly about the results of dust sampling.