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Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*
AS AUTHORIZED BY THE PA SUPREME COURT

Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*
AS AUTHORIZED BY THE PA SUPREME COURT

Can coal miners develop respiratory diseases?

Working in a coal mine in Pennsylvania puts you at an increased risk of developing lung disease. While some employers have improved their safety standards, coal miners still fall ill every year. You might be entitled to compensation if you developed lung disease from working in the mines.

What are some common forms of lung disease?

Many coal miners suffer from pneumoconiosis (CWP), infamously known as black lung. CWP makes it harder for miners to breathe, increasing their risk of respiratory complications. Similarly, coal miners who work with rocks and rock dust might develop silicosis. If you develop silicosis, you might suffer from coughing and breathing difficulties that get worse over time.

Some miners develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a blanket term for other diseases like emphysema and bronchitis. These diseases make it increasingly harder to breathe, which could lead to serious complications. A miner who develops COPD or another lung disease may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

After regular exposure to diesel engines and exhaust, some miners develop asthma. This makes it harder to breathe and occasionally causes severe reactions when they encounter a trigger. A miner could file for workers’ compensation, but unfortunately, there’s no cure for asthma. Over time, the symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases can worsen, although there are some treatment options.

Have you developed a respiratory disease?

The symptoms of respiratory disease might not appear for months or even years. You can’t undo the damage, but you may be eligible for compensation. This doesn’t just apply to lung diseases–you could receive compensation for back injuries, chemical burns, hearing loss, broken bones and a number of other issues. However, filing for workers’ compensation can be a complicated process, so you might want to speak with an attorney first.