Black lung fee based on exposure

NEW charges will apply to coal companies who pay into the West Virginia workers' compensation system for coverage of black lung claims filed by employees under new regulations approved early last week.

Angie Tomlinson

For the past 18 years the state has offered insurance with premiums of three percent of a company’s underground payroll and one percent of surface mining payroll.

The new ruling will require the commission to make actuarial calculations each year to determine if the standard rates are proper, Associated Press reported. Plus, any new companies that subscribe to the fund will be required to buy into it.

Under the ruling, companies will need to provide information on all coal company employees to determine how much coal dust they have been exposed to that can cause pneumoconiosis.