Black lung fight to be acknowledged

THE US Department of Labor is marking the 30th anniversary of an amendment to its Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act that established its federal black lung program offices with a special event on Thursday in West Virginia.
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The new mobile examination unit will be used to provide miners with a convenient way to receive a chest X-ray.

Donna Schmidt

The amendment was enacted in 1978, just one year after the act’s passing, and created two agency offices in Charleston and Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Recognising the fight against pneumoconiosis, the DOL is hosting a full-day program in Charleston that is set to include speakers as well as information on the program and the condition.

On the agenda to speak at the event, which kicks off at 9am local time, are US DOL employment standards administration assistant secretary Victoria Lipnic; US DOL Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation division director James DeMarce; United Mine Workers of America international president Cecil Roberts; and US Representative Shelley Moore Capito.

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is also scheduled to give a brief presentation.

Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to tour the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s X-ray surveillance mobile unit and the Black Lung Quilt, which will both be available onsite throughout the day.

NIOSH researchers Anita Wolfe and Dr Edward Lee Petsonk will be on hand to host the unit tours and give guests presentations on the institute’s black lung research to date.

For additional information on the event being hosted by the DOL’s Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation office, visit the agency’s website.