Evidence Shows Black Lung Cases Presented During Official Eradication Period
Black Lung Disease: a curse of our mining industry
Black Lung Disease, also known as Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis, is a disease associated with miners working in poor work conditions back in days of old. Unfortunately, Black Lung Disease is back in the 21st Century mining industry. Disturbingly, evidence has arisen that suggests it never really went away, as was widely believed or promoted.
A case earlier this year was thought to be the first instance of a Black Lung Disease worker’s compensation claim being accepted in decades, but other cases from the past two decades have since come to light. An ABC news story found there have been four other Black Lung Disease personal injury compensation claims, as well as other recorded probable and possible cases in hospitals, from as far back as 1995.
Are working conditions for our miners actually going backwards?
To make matters worse, the developing cases have unearthed flaws in the system, revealing incidences of black lung going undiagnosed despite regular medical checks. Even with routine doctor visits, the problem was not identified, meaning those that were developing the condition went without appropriate medical advice and continued to work in the harmful environment.
The revelations have brought doubt upon the entire industry, with workers and unions feeling that coal companies have not adequately cared for their employees’ health and wellbeing.
Acceptance of workers’ compensation claims for Black Lung Disease should aid miners
With insufficient post-diagnosis support available to workers, the future is currently bleak for those who find out they have the condition. This will hopefully change with the option open for compensation now that Black Lung Disease has officially been acknowledged as being a prevalent medical issue once more.
Have you been diagnosed with Black Lung Disease, or have you suffered from any other workplace related injury or illness?
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