On December 6, people around the nation will celebrate miners; a group of workers dedicated to retrieving natural minerals and resources from above and below the earth’s surface. National Miners Day gives everyone the opportunity to honor those who have chosen mining as their career. It also provides the chance to reflect on the tough realities of mining, which has a history of being a challenging profession.
Advancements in Mining
Working in places such as coal mines has always been tricky for workers. When the first miners began to dig into deep underground tunnels in northeastern Pennsylvania, preteen children were often among their ranks. Additionally, they had no legal recourse when on-the-job accidents occurred. Instead, their colleagues passed a hat to take a collection, and the injured worker was sent home to heal.
Today, miners can rely on a raft of regulations to keep them safe. From occupational safety equipment to guidelines on working conditions and training procedures, regulatory entities have tightened the field to improve working conditions and minimize hazards. Still, mining can be dangerous, which is why all mining companies in Pennsylvania and around the nation must carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, so a miner who takes time off due to a workplace injury can recover without losing income.
Health Concerns for Contemporary Miners
Miners still face at-work risks, particularly those related to respiratory diseases. Miners may work in poorly ventilated areas filled with airborne particulates. Over time, the accumulation of debris and toxins can take its toll on the esophagus and lungs. In fact, black lung is primarily associated with miners. Currently, about 25,000 miners discover they have black lung each year, according to recent figures. In addition to black lung, bronchitis and emphysema are frequently diagnosed among long-time miners. Each of these conditions can prove fatal, even if managed under the care of a trained physician.
Screening for Health Issues
To reduce the number of miners who annually find out they have black lung and other mining-related disorders, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has deemed that miners receive health screenings every five years. These screenings help address and identify problems before they reach catastrophic levels. Performed by NIOSH-approved providers, the no-cost screenings give miners and their family members peace of mind.
Remembering Miners in December
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of miners, people can keep their houses warm and manufacturers can create innovative products to sell to eager consumers. This December, they deserve a huge debt of gratitude from the public they serve.
Bucks County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Advocate for the Safety of Miners
If you are a miner who was seriously hurt while working or were diagnosed with a respiratory illness related to your career, contact a Bucks County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. We specialize in dealing with health problems faced by miners. Call us at 888-999-1962 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we represent workers throughout Pennsylvania.